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  • From: mIEKAL aND <>
  • To: North American Fruit Explorers <>
  • Subject: [nafex] Fwd: [grapebreeders] Lon
  • Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2012 21:37:53 -0600

a beautiful remembrance of Lon

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kenton Erwin <>
Date: Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 7:16 PM
Subject: [grapebreeders] Lon
To: Grape breeders list <>

I was so fortunate to have gone out to Lon's a bunch of times over the
past few years. In one of the rare examples of my doing something
right, I volunteered, when he didn't know me, to help him dig up some
of the scads of volunteer Himalayan Blackberries that are our special
curse up here, and that led to a friendship that I shall prize
forever. He spent hours telling me about grapes, apples, quinces. I
always came back from his place, in the Fall, with lots of great fruit
for eating, and some of that was probably very rare varieties. He
appreciated when I would test some of his hybrid grapes for pH and TA
and Brix; I think he posted the results to this list sometimes. He
sold me grape cuttings and fruit, as I experimented with different
hybrids for winemaking up here. Listening as his wisdom poured out was
like trying to drink from a fire hose; you knew you were in the
presence of someone very, very special. His kindness and generosity,
coupled with all that knowledge, made him the best kind of teacher and
role model.

I thought he was getting on amazingly well, for what I assume was his
age (I would guess maybe high 60's to mid 70's?). He was very active
on his tractor and on foot, although slowed a bit by the years. His
mind always as sharp as Einstein's. To agree with Mark, the details
will come out; I know nothing about it, yet. I'll watch the obits, in
hopes I can go to the service. His wife and sons are also very
wonderful folks, and I'd like to support them in any way I can.

I carried a spark to him, and he helped turn it into a flame, the kind
that feeds a soul. What a gift! It's too early to worry about what
becomes of his vines and trees, but that is an important issue.

Oh, and a few years ago I asked Lon to sign my copy of his book The
Grape Grower. Maybe he was a little flustered at first that I asked
him to sign it (did he not know that he was a celebrity in my eyes?),
but he regained his composure and wrote, "To Kenton:  Grow great
grapes! Lon"

My heart goes out to his family.



Kenton Erwin

Licensed Wine Retailer
Cellar, Vineyard, and Collection Consulting
Kenton Erwin Consulting, LLC
Portland, OR
h: 503-622-8181  m: 503-250-1457

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  • [nafex] Fwd: [grapebreeders] Lon, mIEKAL aND, 01/31/2012

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