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The Founding of the South West Region of the ABS

Back in the 1970's Mae Blanton (Feb. 21, 1914-Aug. 10, 2001) was Round Robin Director, and there were two "all Texas" Robins. Mae and the members of these flights planned an all-day gathering, with workshops (in Mae's garage), programs and cuttings exchange, and invited all Texas members of ABS.

Seventeen attended and all had fun. Mae continued to dream of an annual gathering of all members in Texas, and even the surrounding states. Many were members at large, and isolated from other begonia growers.

Along came Bob Hamm, in the Air Force and stationed in Texas. Mae infected Bob with her dream, and he organized SWR. Since then, we've held gatherings in Wichita Falls, Arlington, Houston, Austin, Lewisville, San Antonio and Dallas, in Texas and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. People have attended from all over the country—and Australia, England, Japan!

Mae wrote: "Think of all delightful, sharing friends you have made in the SWR, ABS—not to mention the gorgeous Begonias you have met! These friends include many of the national officers of ABS who have come to be with us, truly working to make us a part of ABS. Let's all stick together to keep our privilege of getting together once a year for our family reunion."