Two years ago, I sat where Lynn is sitting today and wondered if my turn would ever come. I know in two years I will be sitting where Aggie is sitting today and wonder where those two years went!
What I want you to know today is that for the next two years I am devoted to all of you. I am committed to work beside you and with you; planning and scheming and I’ll listen to whatever you have to say. I am dedicated to the causes, the dreams and the goals we share together.
Mrs. Dora Gill had a vision in 1927 for garden clubs to unite and work together permanently. In her own words, “… I seemed to have a call (as the preacher would say) to devote the next few years of my life to the organizing and forming of garden clubs throughout Ohio. Then, because legislative laws needed to be passed, and because public opinion needed to be molded before the laws would be passed, the joining together of all these clubs seemed necessary and advisable.” With that, Garden Club of Ohio was born.
George Burns said, No [single] snowflake in an avalanche ever felt responsible. It takes the power of all the snowflakes just like it takes all the members to make the Garden Club. Every member is essential. Snowflakes, petals of a rose, spokes in a wheel; whatever we are apart; together we are Garden Club of Ohio and we make things happen.
Woodrow Wilson said, “A man’s rootage is more important than his leafage.” We all have a story about our roots and I love hearing your stories. I have met so many amazing people in garden club with remarkable roots. I had the privilege to be seated next to Maria Zupanic at two symposiums in a row. I learned about her roots in Slovenia and seeing her family taken away to concentration camps. There is only one Maria Zupanic but there are so many more stories. We have come from wealth and poverty; privilege and oppression. We are old and young; we are strong and frail. But when we stand together – we are complete.
In 1963, Edward Lorenz presented a hypothesis to the New York Academy of Science. He said a butterfly on one side of the planet could flap her wings and move molecules of air. These molecules of air would move other molecules of air, which could eventually create a hurricane on the other side of the planet.
This you may know is the butterfly effect. One butterfly – creating a hurricane! Mr. Lorenz was laughed at, mocked and scorned. How absurd the logical/ rational scientists considered this idea!
So imagine the scientific community’s shock and surprise more than 30 years later, when academic studies worldwide came to the conclusion that the butterfly affect is accurate, authentic and viable. Soon after, it was accorded the status of a law: The Law of Sensitive Dependence Upon Initial Conditions.
“London has the trick of making its long indelible past, always a part of its present. And for that reason it will always have meaning for the future, because it can teach about disaster, survival, and redemption.
We love our roots. Dora Gill was one person. Without her, the butterfly would not have fluttered her wings. But without all of you, the butterfly would not have wings to fly.
“The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.”
– Emile Zola (1840-1902)
Some of you might remember the Convention in Dayton a few years ago but most of you have no idea what happened less than a week before the Convention. Our hotel contact not only quit suddenly but he destroyed the hard drive on his computer before he left. We had no contracts, no room set ups, no menus – and no time left. Nevertheless, the Convention was going to happen. A very compassionate hotel employee gave my husband, Skip and Tricia Yurkovich walkie talkies. If I even looked like I was going to cry or scream – Tricia ran one way and Skip ran the other and one by one, disasters were averted. Dot Blum told me once – everyone in Garden Club wants to see you succeed. How right she was. When we pull together like that, GCO is the winner.
What does garden club mean to you? My garden club: side splitting laughter, Tears; when we have to say a final good bye, exhaustion when we work too long in the sun; pride when we plant the last begonia in the red stripe of our floral flag; what does your garden club mean to you?
What do you mean to your garden club? Everything. You have strong roots and wings to fly.
I accept this honor with dignity and humility. I have brilliant mentors.
Thank You for this privilege. I will wear this pin with the pride and respect everyone from Dora Gill to Aggie Goss has worn. Let’s go see tomorrow now.
Mickie Marquis, 2013-2015 Garden Club of Ohio President