Today was an interesting and unrepeatable experience. As I am sure you are all aware, there was something going down near Kennett Square. Around 400 trees from the collection were up for sale, some perfect Kokufu class specimens, others trees that were injured in the rather severe importation process. All were for sale at wholesale or less prices...and that is in Japan prices. There were trees for sale up at $150 that were in $300 pots. It was a strange experience watching such things pass before my eyes, but congratulations and thank you to all the participants who turned up in the freezing cold and behaved themselves perfectly.
My job was to be the out of town bully and keep everyone in line. If such an event was held in Europe, there would have been chaos, so I was going through all the possible weaknesses of the incredibly fair system the night before with Mr. Paul, the absurdly generous owner of the collection and some of the guys, including Akiyama-san who was here helping as well. He said something along the lines of "I have faith in human nature so I don't think people will cheat". I think it must say something about me that I could come up with a hundred and one ways to cheat. I wasn't the only one because I had several emails asking me how much it would cost to pull tags in advance. Words fails me at times.
Many weeks of discussion went into the organisation and the system trying to make it fair and even, so that it was not a first come first served system of whoever has the most money wins. Even so people were complaining. Before , during and after the event a few people complained. To anyone who thought it was unfair, go get another hobby or go yourself to Japan and try and get trees back. See how you like them apples. What I will say however is that for every one complaint there was, we had over a hundred compliments so clearly the majority rules. Democracy baby, ain't it a bitch.
One thing that struck me about the system and the way in which it was very honourably adhered to by everyone, was how American it was. No English person would come up with such an egalitarian way of doing things. We would have been too caught up in personal politics and not wanting to upset the status quo and some big pockets would just in and buy their way to the top.
Not wishing to stray too far into politics here but it made me realise how skewed the meaning of the word liberal has become in the modern world. I often teased Ryan about this calling his ideas for creating a bonsai community and society dangerously close to the theory, but not the practice of communism, which in many ways they were; to which he got all upset. It was to me, an outstanding piece of letting everyone have their roll of the dice. For any fans of "The Wire", it was the embodiment of the opening scene of the first season
McNulty: I got to ask you. If every time Snotboogie would grab the money and run away, why'd you even let him in the game?
Snot Boogie's Friend: What?
McNulty: If Snotboogie always stole the money, why'd you let him play?
Snot Boogie's Friend: Got to. It's America, man.
Anyways I digress. Some pictures from the event taken by Akiyama, it was said that I had a bit of an Eminem vibe going on and that i should have busted out a few rhymes...dont know where they got that idea from...
Trying to make a few last minute long distance sales. My ipad is my life I am sad to say.
Suthin and I are debating whether or not to buy this tree for $3200. We both see a much better tree in there, in fact there is an easy option and a longer term risky option. However spending that money on a tree I can't take home and was over looked at a bargain sale means that as much as I would like to make the tree, i may have to wait. Unless my heart rules my head when I wake up,
Even Akiyama agrees there is a great tree hiding in there. But me having great trees in America does not equal saving for a deposit on a house. Anyone fancy a literati juniper?
One image that I will leave you with is a throw back to the 1960's...
Power to the people...
Sleep is calling me...until next time.