The Origins of The Amateurs’ Digest
A circular letter dated “April, 1989” from “(Mrs.) Marina Welham” precedes the very first issue of “Cacti & Other Succulents” (COS), the original name of The Amateurs’ Digest. This letter is a great introduction to the origins of The Amateurs’ Digest, and it reads:
Dear Fellow Hobbyist,
First of all, let me introduce myself. I have been an AVID hobbyist for a number of years — still, however, very much classified in the ‘amateur hobbyist’ category.
Some months ago I wrote a short note in the American Cactus and Succulent Journal asking that other isolated cactophiles contact me. To my delight some wonderful letters came in and I have made new and rewarding friends as a result. The letters were circulated. More friendships resulted. Information, plants and seeds have eagerly been exchanged. And for each one of us the chance to share with others has increased the joy of our hobby a hundred fold.
Now we feel the need to reach out a hand and try to enlarge our circle of hobbyist friends.
Trying to begin the publication and distribution of a brand new Newsletter to provide an INFORMATION EXCHANGE between hobbyists is no easy task and was not, I assure you, a decision made lightly. Probably the one most significant reason I decided to go ahead iwth it was this recurring theme in most letters I received …
“I wasn’t quite sure if I were alone out there or not!”
To date a great deal of thought, time and effort and personal expense have gone into the preparation of the first issue. This first issue is meant as a base on which to build future issues as Members begin to contribute because that is what this Newsletter is all about. A means of communication. You can ask questions, share information, buy and sell plants, etc., etc.
COS will be THE Newsletter FOR and BY amateur hobbyists and will be published six times a year. Subscription rates are based on carefully calculated costs for printing and postage and DO NOT cover expenses to date or the extensive work that will do into editing, publishing and mailing it to you.
From a strictly business standpoint and so that you know to whom your subscription dollars go, as Editor I have an extensive business management and writing background. I am originally from Montreal and have been resident of Victoria, B.C. for the past eleven years.
We would love to have you join us as a member of COS and will look forward to not only receiving your subscription but also to hearing from you with questions, comments, articles, drawings, photographs (black and white), etc. Photos, by the way, will be returned if requested and if you provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
If for any reason — at any time — it becomes not feasible to continue publishing this Newsletter, the balance of your subscription which cannot be fulfilled WILL BE PROMPTLY REFUNDED TO YOU.
WE ARE EXCITED!! WE ARE ENTHUSIASTIC!! WE HOPE YOU ARE TOO!!!
The Amateurs’ Digest Reborn!
The goal of The Amateurs’ Digest Archive is to bring Marina’s 28 years of publications to life again for the world to enjoy.
Botany is never out of date. Plant information is always current and useful. The tips and advice are always popular.
Marina’s Archive then becomes the centerpiece of a new CACTOPHILE NETWORK including a social club (THE CACTOPHILE CLUB) and a wiki (CACTOPEDIA), to continue Marina’s dream of a worldwide community of CACTOPHILES.