A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Monday, May 05, 2008

It appreared in about 1941, raised by Colonel Stevenson Clark of Sussex, England, by crossing Camellia saluenensis with Camellia japonica ’Masayoshi’

I have written about camellias and this particular one here. When I look at camellias I think of my boarding school days at St. Edwards in Austin, Texas in the late 50s. The only woman on campus was an older and large black woman who worked in our cafeteria kitchen. Our only contact with members of the female sex where in the basketball and football games. The girls from the other side of the city, St Mary's attended and some of them were our cheerleaders. I was much too shy to talk to them (and Judy Reyes, below, in particular) and since I didn't know how to dance I rarely met any of them at our occasional sock hops in our basketball gym.

There was one woman (there were others, but I remember in particular this one) who knew the number of our pay phone at the end of our dormitory hall. Her name was Marion and she would call and we would talk to her for hours. She led us on (I would use a the term that was in vogue then, she was a p---- teaser ). She had a pleasant sexy voice and was never crude. She was a solace in those in-between days before they let us out for all day passes in town on Saturdays and Sundays.

I would first go to 6th Street where there was a pocket book store. After buying a Frank G. Slaughter pocket novel. The medical novels had lots of terrific sex in them. I did not feel guilty in reading them as my mother loved this author. And one title in particular, Dear And Glorious Physician was about St Luke even though there were lots of sexual shenanigans in Bithynia!

Then I would walk to the Stephen F. Austin Hotel on Congress Avenue and I would gaze (while spooning my favourite ice cream, vanilla with real cherry bits) on the lovely soda jerk who worked behind the soda fountain counter. She was blonde and I imagined she was Eva Marie Saint. I had fallen for her (and ignored Elizabeth Taylor's violet eyes) when I had seen Raintree County in the movie house, next door.

Camellias are like Marion and the soda jerk at the Stephen F. Austin. They dazzle, they promise but don't deliver. Camellias have all the promise of my roses that begin to bloom at the end of May. Some of my roses even resemble camellias. But they also deliver with scent. Many are remontant and don't just bloom and quickly fade away as camellias do.

But my camellias do offer me solace for those in-between days of May. Before my roses finally deliver.


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Kelly Tough - Not So

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