It would take a book-length article to write about and describe all the things and people that influence hybridizing of the Louisiana iris. It all began after World War II, around 1946 or a little later, when I got into the field of serious hybridizing. My sister and I had been collecting the blue GC's (I.giganticaerulea) whose main habitat was in the marshes of Cameron Parish, that was a short drive south of Lake Charles, Louisiana in Calcasieu Parish.
Congratulations to Marvin Granger of Lake Charles, Louisiana, who was selected at the fall board meeting of the American Iris Society to receive the Distinguished Hybridizer Medal at their annual convention in Memphis, Tennessee, this April. This is quite an honor and especially so for a hybridizer of one of the 'other irises' like Louisianas.
When I graduated from Tracy Hi in 1942 I had no idea I would be hybridizing irises when I was 80. However, there should have been some clues. The Busch and Lomb Science Award was given to me for taking four years of science classes. My father, wanting to teach me about the birds and bees, arranged to get me on a field trip with a almond grower and his daughter. We went to the University of California at Davis to learn how to pollinate fruit trees.
by Ron Killingsworth ca Fall 2007
Sidney Conger was born in July 1924, in his grandparent's home at Arcadia, La. He died in August 1993, in Houston, Texas, and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Ruston, La. Sidney's wife of almost 40 years, Bette Lee Davis Conger, now resides near her daughter in Maryland. Sidney and Bette Lee had two boys and a girl and the children were raised in the family home in Arcadia.