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SHS grad now trekking globe

Posted: Friday, Jul 19th, 2013

Seth Menser (above, far right), a 1995 graduate of Siuslaw High School, gives a tour of his hot house at the San Diego Zoo, which is filled with plants from around the world. At right, the Lord Howe Island stick bug, one of the rarest insects in the world.

Several months ago, my wife Dorothy and I escaped the cool winter in Florence for some California sunshine and a chance to visit with my son Joe and his family in the Southland. Each time I go there, my life-long interest in animals draws me to the world famous San Diego Zoo, which is one of the finest facilities of its kind in the world.

This time, the trip to the zoo was extra special because our host was Seth Menser, senior horticulturist at the zoo and a 1995 graduate of Siuslaw High School who received his degree in horticulture from College of the Redwoods. His book on the ficus plants of Australia will soon be ready for publication.

Seth and Joe have been friends since meeting in Mr. Gary Knipe’s second-grade class at Rhododendron Elementary School in Florence. Their friendship developed through the years as they played basketball together in high school and became members of Boy Scout Troop 777.

Seth’s interest in horticulture was influenced by his father Gary Menser. Gary was a well-known and respected mycologist. During his life, he held dozens of mushroom symposiums in the Florence area. Students and amateurs from all over the state came to hear his lectures and take his tours.

Joe contacted Seth and tickets to the zoo were waiting for us at the will-call window. A short time later, Seth met us with some surprising news.

“I have set up an opportunity for you to see the rarest insect in the world,” he said, then ushered us away through the crowd.

For the complete article see the 07-20-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 07-20-2013 paper.

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