|The first to reply were Eva and Martin Berghuis of the Sequoia Chapter.
Here is what they wrote:
We are Eva and Martin Berghuis, we have been members of CRFG since 1988. When
we lived in Laguna Hills, we were members of the No. San Diego and Orange
For an obsessed rare fruit grower a city lot was very soon too small. When we
retired in 1994 we bought 5 Acres in the Foothills 20 miles from the South
entrance of Sequoia N.P. for a fraction for what you have to pay in So Cal.
We missed the chapter meetings here and very few people have heard of the CRFG
in Tulare County, so we started the Sequoia Chapter with 5 members in 1995,
about 25 members now. We live in the fruit basket of the United States but
unfortunately only a few people in this area are interested in rare fruit trees.
Our chapter is still very small compare to the other chapters, but we are
probably the most sociable chapter of the CRFG. The meetings are usually held
at a members home and most of the time the host prepares a delicious lunch,
with a lot of fruit which the members bring. For a small chapter this is still
Every year in January our Chapter organize a tour at the UC Lindcove Station
and all CRFG members and their guests are invited. After the tour some of our
members have prepared a delicious lunch. We hope to see you there next January.
-- Eva and Martin Berghuis
In responses to the first Bulletin the most frequent comment was: We want to
know more about the Board. Who are the people making those decisions that
affect us? I'm going to try to respond by including a vignette on at least
one director in each Bulletin.
In the meantime, here is something I discovered: You can find a rogues
gallery at crfg.org/board/board.html.
Try it -- it's fun. Our webmaster,
Shirley Matsuhashi, says she will also
post the vignettes as they come in.
Let's start with our Board President -- ands don't miss the attached photo:
Herb Lee, CRFG President
Still just a kid at 57. Born and raised at the beach in Long Beach, where your
parents didn't worry unless you missed dinner. I explored and collected
anything that washed up on the beach and did a lot of things that are now
probably jailable offenses. Took up skin diving to see what was under the top
of the ocean and bay. Was certified for scuba in 1959 and later collected
salt water fish for aquarium stores and golf balls from the country club pond
where I was a lifeguard and swim coach at the pool.
I went to California State University Long Beach where I played water polo,
got into photography, joined Kappa Sigma fraternity, established a new world’s
record for eating live goldfish and finally got a B.A. in geography. After
realizing that I didn't want to teach geography or go into city planning, I
married Karen in 1970. Also realizing that we had to eat and have a roof over
our heads, I used my photography skills and opened an advertising art boutique.
In 1975 my partner, a friend from junior high school, and I opened Bates/Lee
Advertising. Now we have offices in Costa Mesa, CA and Honolulu, HI and do
mostly destination/resort and restaurant direct marketing and advertising. We
also work for foodservice, retailers, manufacturers and related companies.
My family is close, not large, just close, Karen, who has hung in there with
me through all the little surprises that life has had to offer, and I have a
son and daughter, a 2 year old grandson and all the support team that goes
along with the package.
We joined CRFG in 1985 after we saw a story in the local paper about a backyard
grower that had some of the most amazing fruit trees in his collection. We had
moved into an old house in Corona Del Mar that nobody wanted because it had a
big yard. About 3/4 of an acre, which is big for here, and started planting
fruit trees. It was like a blank canvas, dirt covered with ice plant and
pampas grass. Today we've got over 200 trees and about 150 grape vines. In
retrospect, I would have laid it out differently today... it seemed ok when I
started, but what did I know then.
We were CRFG members for a couple years before we attended any Orange County
chapter meetings and when we went, I think people thought we were just
visitors. One night they ask the visitors to stand and be recognized, we didn't
since we were members, and they finally pointed to us and ask us who we were.
A couple months later, I received a call from Eunice Messner asking me to help
them on the chapter board. Sounded good to me and when I went to the board
meeting, they introduced me as the chapter chair. And I'm thinking that they've
forgotten more about fruit than I ever knew. Hey, life's a hoot and the members
are the greatest bunch of people I've ever been associated with.
Six years ago, Glenn Young ask me to join the CRFG Board of Directors and here
I am today. Soon I will have time to take care of the garden again. Attached
is a recent photo Karen took of me (I'm the photographer, she's not) with our
two black lab puppies, Lucy and Ethel. During their puppyhood they have managed
to damage or eat about everything we grow. They really like the macadamia nuts,
grapes and apples.