Today is Labor Day, and boy did we labor so bonsai from around our country can be beautifully and tastefully displayed!

My entire “Monday Senior Crew” came, (except for Paul Eschmann who went sailing– but he will come on Saturday) today to help prepare for the upcoming US National Bonsai Exhibition on September 13-14th in Rochester, NY.

Today, Doug McDade, Rick Marriott, Bob Pfromm, Tom Friday and Joe Lentner left their families on this “holiday” to help me prepare for the exhibition. Rick started at 8:30 this morning and left at 4:00 in the afternoon. We got a tremendous amount of important work accomplished with only one doughnut break and takeout Chinese lunch. Diane surprised us with a raspberry birthday cake for Doug, Bob and me who all celebrate birthdays within two weeks of each other. Actually, Bob and I were both born on Labor Days, but several years apart.


The background posts are made of 4×4” pressure treated posts which are 4 and 5 feet tall. They are all kept in the soil poly greenhouse along with the all the other supports and piping for the exhibition. Many of the long items are kept in the rafters and needed to be brought down for cleaning and loading into the trailer. Joe and Tom moved most of the posts and piping because they would not let me up on the ladder… another broken foot is NOT needed, especially at this time. Last week Rick, Bob and Diane began staining a few post which had faded, but they looked so good it was decided to stain all of them.


The 90 heavy background posts were stained to get a dark quite color, as many have faded during the past eight years. But, first they needed to be cleaned and wiped down. As the Rick, Bob, Diane and Doug were staining Doug made minor adjustments to some of the posts so they would sit flat on the tables without wiggling. Diane helped all day and worked with Rick staining and Doug worked with Bob.


As they were staining Joe and I were loading the trailer with items, which did not need staining, and then loaded the finished stained posts. It was so hot and humid the crew moved from staining in the display shade house into the cooler garage, out of the sun. That meant that all the posts needed to be carried from out back into the garage, then back to be carefully loaded into the trailer.


Just as they were finishing Joe and I brought 80 upright thinner posts, which are used as supports for the purple bunting and golden tassels, to be stained. They did not complain and continued to stain. As they were finished I carried them on to the sunny driveway for drying.

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A few weeks ago Gratia Pfromm split 90 feet of fabric, which yielded 180 feet, for skirting which is needed for the Invitational Suiseki Exhibition, a new addition to the US National Bonsai Exhibition. She even hemmed the fabric so it would not unravel.


There is still room for the 20 some large plastic tote boxes full of curtains, skirting and table coverings. Oh I almost forgot the purple velvet valances and of course the golden tassels and red carpet for the Opening Ceremony.

On Wednesday, September 10th we get into the building to begin setting up. Nearly 300 tables must be exactly set up according to the layout. Then the tables get skirted and the table covering goes on. Once the tables are skirted and covered the background posts are positioned on top of the tables. After the background curtains are installed the supports for the purple velvet bunting must be constructed. Finally the bonsai will be positioned and repositioned again before the exhibition opens. But, there is still a lot of registration and printing for Diane and me to complete before next week.

But, we will be ready to welcome visitors from Asia, Europe, South America and North America so they can see, appreciate and study some of the finest bonsai in the United States and Canada as well.

Join us on September 13-14th in Rochester. Additional information can be seen at:


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