Letter: Mourning local losses
These past few weeks, Gloucester has lost three tall members of our plant community.
Jerry Dickerson was well known locally for his long career breeding and propagating daylilies and irises. He also searched surrounding counties for ornamentals that had survived the loss of loving hands that planted and shared them.
Charles (Sid) Sterling was probably better known locally for his irrepressible cheerfulness. In the larger circle of the Virginia Native Plant Society, and our local John Clayton chapter, of which Sid and his wife, Sylvia, were charter members, he shared in propagating and transplanting native plants that now grace gardens of the Middle and Lower Peninsulas. Proceeds of the Clayton plant sale have sent many children to Nature Camp.
Our third great loss was the shocking and unexpected destruction of the state record pear tree. While Jerry and Sid died after long illnesses, the magnificent pear tree was in full bloom and vigor when it was bulldozed, chopped up and hauled to the landfill. We can never know how old it was. No cuttings were kept. How sad that man’s power so far exceeds his knowledge and judgment.
Mary Hyde Berg