Nine bound volumes of The Amateurs’ Digest  arrived by Mail today from Florida

“Handle with care!” — 9 bound volumes of <i>The Amateurs’ Digest</i> arrive on 12 September 2019
“Handle with care!” — 9 bound volumes of The Amateurs’ Digest arrive on 12 September 2019

I’ve been shopping!

And this is the first of two big packages ordered last week, the one from Biblio.com that came in today, and the other from Terrace Horticultural Books, “Used and rare books, seed and plant catalogs, ephemera and periodicals bought and sold,” which I am still expecting.

The door buzzer woke me at half past noon (I work nights) and a petite but wiry French Canadian woman in a red and navy shipper’s uniform and head-set hefted the enormous box with ease down one curved flight of stairs and into my arms.  The box was half the size of the delivery woman who smiled to learn that my own mother’s journals were in it.

Biblio Item Description

The Amateurs' Digest - Cacti and Other Succulents - Volumes 1-10. 1989-1998/1999 by Welham, Marina - Editor
The Amateurs’ Digest – Cacti and Other Succulents – Volumes 1-10. 1989-1998/1999 by Welham, Marina – Editor

The Amateur’s Digest – Cacti and Other Succulents – Volumes 1-10. 1989 -1998/1999 / Welham, Marina – Editor

Sidney, British Columbia: Marina Welham 9 books. Book one is Volume 1/II 1989-1990 is a larger size, 11 1/8″ x 8 3/4″, and contains Volume 1 Issue 1 May 1989 thru Volume 2 Issue 2 July 1990. 1. The other 8 uniform volumes which are 7 1/8″ x 8 5/8″. Book labeled 2 has vol. 2 no. 3 Sept. 1990 thru vol. 3 no. 6 March 1992. No book labeled 3. Book labeled 4 has Vol. 4 No. 1 May 1992 thru Vol. 4 No. 6 March 1993. Book labeled 10 has Volume 10 Issue 1 May 1998 thru Volume 10 Issue 6 March 1999 with a special 1998 supplement. All bound in identical light green buckram and stamped in gilt on spine. Contain bi-montly issues. A continuous chronological set even though there is no volume marked #3, May 1989 – March 1999. Early issues have ISSN 0843-8234. Faint smoker’s smell. All clean and appear unused. Very Good.

The original shipping cost was $35.09 USD, but since I’m in Canada, and the seller is in Florida, they bumped it up another $68.00 USD, so the shipping cost nearly as much as the books at $102.41.  The journals were $100 USD, or $136.64 CAD.  Total final price:  $239.05 including United States Postal Service, Priority Mail, to recover another small lot of my mother’s journals.

“They weren’t in ‘expensive pots’”:
BC Trustee

They weren't in “expensive pots”.
They weren’t in “expensive pots”.
My mother’s own copies of her journals were “destroyed” (might better say they went “missing”) in the hands of the British Columbia public trustee who hijacked her estate when she died, and refuses to account to me for the whereabouts of decades of my mother’s published work, and all the inventory, business lists (subscribers, advertisers), correspondence, accounting, her plants, photos and records.  My paying to recover a few of her journals here and there will only slightly mitigate the enormous, and irreplaceable loss.

The public trustee is supposed to keep a record of every item sold.  They liquidated the contents and the home behind my back.  There should have been an expert horticulturalist’s inventory of Marina’s plants and journals, and a record of their sale, if they had been sold.  Yet, there is none.  Also, this being a business, the trustee was required to maintain the assets, which because of Marina’s Will, now belong to me.  However, when asked to account for my mother’s collection of plants in her two small greenhouses, with a list of their value and their Latin names, the BC public trustee replied, they weren’t of any value because they weren’t in “expensive pots,” and then pretended the plants had been left behind in the windows for the future “new owners”.  As the realtors’ photos indicate (below), the “windows” at Lochside, and both of Marina’s greenhouses, were empty before the property was sold.  Both of her greenhouses were added to the home after she purchased it; so they are not “old” realtor’s photos, they are current ones.  So, basically, NO RECORD WHATSOEVER by a public trustee of what happened to any of Marina’s cactus journals, CD Rom products, hard-cover books she produced, or her plants and her business assets that cover a good three decades.  Isn’t that interesting?  Not a single record kept by the BC trustee of all this inventory.

Moreover, Marina collected plants years before she launched her journal.  In the early 1980s, I shipped a number of unusual plants to BC for her, including an 8-foot long cactus with yellow flowers in a hanging basket.

I flew to Vancouver in March of this year and sued the BC Public Guardian and Trustee on Friday, the 5th of April, the day before I took my flight back.

(Above:) Marina’s home and garden greenhouses at 8591 Lochside Drive, Sidney, B.C. (realtor’s photos)

Languidly, their man Magnusson acknowledged being the proper party to be served, then waited four months before sending me an email — ordering me to withdraw my Notice of Dispute and hire a lawyer, alleging I had used a wrong procedure.  I had in fact filed a Notice of Dispute on the advice of a lawyer.  As to hiring, lawyers want thousands of dollars just to read a couple of memos.  So, I’ve ignored Mr. Magnusson’s feigned indignation.  We’ll see what he does next in my mother’s probate file that he sealed to hide his activities notably from me — the lawful appointed trustee — and from the public.

Most lawyers, in BC and elsewhere, are in government pockets, if they value their careers.  In this case, if they work in probate, they routinely deal with the public trustee, and in eight months of looking, I couldn’t find a single one willing to take suit, including the one who told me to file the Notice of Dispute.  One Vancouver lawyer I met with wanted a “nominal” $2,000, not to defend my mother’s Will and me, but to “communicate with” the government trustee “on my behalf”.  Translation: you pay me, I work for them, and for a fee I will make you knuckle under.  I worked for top Montreal lawyers for a number of years; I know their double-talk.

What’s in the Package?

Nine Bound Volumes of TAD from 1989-1999
Nine Bound Volumes of TAD from 1989-1999
Someone had these cactus journals hard-bound in green buckram and gold-stamped on the spines.  On top of the package, bound volume number “4” has “Happy Birthday” written onto the cover of the opening issue.  Were the bound volumes a birthday gift to a cactus lover?

The binding is nearly in mint condition.  Too bad it will make it harder to scan the issues, but at least they are here.  The very first issues were 11-1/8″ x 8-3/4.  The larger first volume looks as though it took a ding on a corner during shipping and is bent.  A couple of heavy weights for a period of time may straighten it out.

All the subsequent issues were printed on “legal” size paper, folded and saddle-stitched (stapled).  The spines are gold-stamped with the title of the Digest and a volume number.  There appears to be a numbering error.  There is no stamped “Volume 3,” but the dealer explains, the issues all are here in these nine volumes (they really count as ten) and span a decade from 1989 to 1999.

These new items will be online as time permits.  (It seems I will be scanning for the rest of my life.  It takes a whole evening to scan one 50-page issue, not including work the next day to OCR and embed it.)  And aren’t you folks happy!  If you were not a subscriber to Marina’s journals, you have never seen these issues before, and now you can read them cover-to-cover for free, right here, via Scribd.

Bound volumes, gold-stamped
Bound volumes, gold-stamped
Marina, you are being reconstituted!  And your daughter is battling for justice for you in the courts of British Columbia.

I’m Kathleen, Marina’s daughter.  And I don’t know anything about cactus plants.  I hope you enjoy The Amateurs’ Digest Archive (Marina Welham’s Archive).

Have a wonderful day!


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