Ohio, USA Bonsaiman Keith Scott passed

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Ohio, USA Bonsaiman Keith Scott passed

Post  Dale Cochoy on Sun May 15, 2011 11:12 pm

While out of town for the Potomac Bonsai Society show last weekend I learned that my teacher/mentor Ohio Bonsaiman Keith Scott passed away on Friday , May 6th, 2011.
Keith was a long-time driving force in the bonsai world particularly in the northeast USA and an ABS and BCI symposium/convention speaker on many occasions.
Keith was a strong supporter of the Cleveland Bonsai Club for many years and my teacher throughout the mid/late 1980's.
I worked at his garden near Chagrin Falls, Ohio until he moved to the Pittsburg area as curator of the bonsai collection at the Phipps Conservatory.
For the last few years he had been living in the SE Ohio area and had been a guest speaker at The Columbus Bonsai Society.
Keiths first contact with bonsai came while serving in the military in Japan during the Korean conflict.

I have been posting a few stories involving my times with Keith on my Facebook page.

Here is a link to an article in the Columbus Bonsai Society newsletter.

http://www.columbusbonsai.org/content/keith-scott-bonsai-icon-dies-age











Dale Cochoy
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Re: Ohio, USA Bonsaiman Keith Scott passed

Post  Russell Coker on Mon May 16, 2011 12:36 am

Dale,

Thanks for passing on that sad news. I first met Keith in Rochester at a Bill V. symposium in 1988. I think I met you there too! Anyway, I had the good fortune to buy a really nice pot from Keith. I had fallen in love with it in Japan, and figured it would be years before I'd have the chance to find - and afford - it here. Keith said it had been under his bed for years, he loved it too and was glad to see someone else appreciate it so much. He really made it affordable to me (I was in college), and almost 25 years later I still remember that like it was yesterday.

He will be missed!

R

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Re: Ohio, USA Bonsaiman Keith Scott passed

Post  ogie on Mon May 16, 2011 12:38 am

My sincere condolences to the family & friends that Keith has left behind,I'm sure the bonsai world will miss Him but his legacy lives on through his student and co-bonsai lovers

Alex

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Re: Ohio, USA Bonsaiman Keith Scott passed

Post  Dale Cochoy on Mon May 16, 2011 7:18 pm

Russell,
I remember your program at Bills upon returning from Japan. I think you were the first speaker I ever saw use the turnbuckle in wiring to twist and pull branches down. Beautiful wiring! Do you still wire so nice?
I'm not sure without looking at the old mags but that might have been the first year my business partner and I sold there and Keith was kind enough to give me one of his tables for our trees. Years run together from back then. We were registrants for a few years and then Keith gave us a table and the year after that we got our own booth. I vended there every year until the last Fall symposium last year. I think there were only 3 other vendors there for more years and one of them was Bill! Very Happy I think only Jim Doyle and Lee Abrahamsen had more years.
We sold a lot of locally collected junipers and arborvitae back then. That was 'B.P.', ( Before pots).
I think I might bring one of Keiths hand-made pots to Louisville for the IBC convention auction. I have a few that are unused right now.
D.

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Re: Ohio, USA Bonsaiman Keith Scott passed

Post  Tom Simonyi on Mon May 16, 2011 8:16 pm

Keith will be sadly missed. He was very kind to myself and our club members over the years while he lived in Pittsburgh. He traveled south at least once a year to Morgantown, WV to share his wealth of knowledge with us. He was always very gracious and understanding and always had a knack of making us feel good about our trees while at the same touch providing a gentle, guiding hand.

Thank you for providing this notification, Dale. I will pass it on with sadness to our club members.

Tom Simonyi

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Re: Ohio, USA Bonsaiman Keith Scott passed

Post  Dale Cochoy on Tue May 17, 2011 5:38 pm

Here are a few notes about Keith from the Columbus, Ohio newsletter and a few of my stories of working with Keith ( more are on my Facebook page).

COLUMBUS BONSAI SOCIETY MAY 2011
‘An Itinerate Bosai Man’ Remembered….
I had intended on a future history of CBS piece featuring Keith’s long time connection with our club. I was fortunate to have known Keith since ‘82. I have listened to and have read many of Keith’s stories and insights through the years. I hope that a project of publishing and distributing a book of his experiences
and musings that he has completed will come to fruition. Keith said, “I became addicted to Bonsai in 1938 after talking with my father who had seen dwarfed trees in China.” After a tour of duty in Japan during the Korean conflict, he started working on ‘real’ Bonsai. He traveled to Japan and to China fifteen or more times. Keith wrote, “that is the point: I learned early that if I was going to succeed in this infinitely difficult hobby, I‘d have to travel, seek out the people who knew more than I did, which was everyone. “
Keith must have been an interesting person to have as an English teacher. Anyone who has been around him knows he loved to play with language and was precise in speaking. I wish I knew how extensive his knowledge of Japanese and Chinese were. Keith was affiliated with many clubs and organizations. He was a past president and show chair for Bonsai Clubs International. Keith served as bonsai curator for the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden, Pittsburgh. A Smooth leaf Elm (Ulmus minor) that Keith trained and donated is on display at the North American Collection at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum at the United States National Arboretum.
Keith’s first visit to our club included a hornbeam grove planting demo and a workshop in March of 1974. He had conducted many lectures, demos and workshops through the years for our club. In October 2008, Keith was the featured speaker at the Ohio Bonsai Expo sponsored by CBS. As a member emeritus of our club, he leaves a significant void. We were lucky that he chose to share with us his vast knowledge, skills, opinions and quips — Tom Holcomb



COLUMBUS BONSAI SOCIETY MAY 2011
A Glimpse inside….
One thing most don't know about Keith is that he also did pottery in the winter. His father also did pottery. Some out there might have the luck to own some of his few pots. I have one he made especially for me and
several others he had given me over the years. Also, over the winter he (we) made knives. I actually got him into going to gun shows to buy knife making materials. I think he gave all his knives away as gifts so some out there might own one. I can think of at least one well known bonsaiman who got one of his knives.
For those that ever traveled to his 'home' you'll remember his quarters as cold and heated only with a wood stove in the winter. We spent MANY days in the cold drinking tea and working on other stuff than bonsai, but Keith was like me in the fact that he worked on trees when he could and that often meant extremely out of season with it being very cold or very hot. Keith’s sleeping quarters were very nice and Japanese with tatami mats, wood flooring and a tokonoma. He slept on a futon and began to have terrible aching in the winter when it was very cold in his bedroom, attached to his work area in a barn away from the house. (He did not live in the house). I kept bugging him about getting a heated waterbed and he finally told me to get one located for him. I went to a couple waterbed stores in the late 80's and finally found a VERY SIMPLE one with an oak frame that matched his flooring pretty good. He picked it up and we installed it. A week later, I was there and asked how it was going? Not so good, still achy/ I checked and the heater wasn’t on...the water was about 50 degrees! So, I explained the procedures and turned it up. He never liked the warm waterbed and until he decided to get rid of it and go back to the futon, he slept on it cold!
ALSO….
"Keith used to have a 3-day weekend invitational get-together to work on bonsai over EASTER weekend for many years. The late Max Puderbaugh of Columbus was one of the first attendees. I was one of the later invited attendees. Some members slept on the work benches in the studio. Some stayed at a motel and I drove back and forth since I was only 45 minutes away. For the tenth year, the last I remember, Keith made everyone a tea bowl and bisque fired them. Each person did their own glaze job and then Keith high-fired them. I still have mine."—DALE COCHOY of WILD THINGS BONSAI STUDIO


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Re: Ohio, USA Bonsaiman Keith Scott passed

Post  Dale Cochoy on Mon May 23, 2011 11:03 pm

Here are a few more notes from Keiths long-time student and close friend Kelley Adkins.

Scott, one of the most renowned bonsai artists in the country and a huge influence on the Pittsburgh Bonsai Society, passed away in early May. He was the former curator of the bonsai collection at Phipps Conservatory, and many of his trees are still housed in that collection.

A remembrance…

Keith grew up in Salem, Ohio where his father worked in one of the potteries common to that area at the time. His father had also done missionary work in Japan and often described to him the miniature trees he had seen there. Being stationed in Japan during the Korean War gave Keith the opportunity to see these trees first hand and to develop his lasting appreciation for Japanese aesthetics and traditions as well as providing a basic understanding of the language. Upon returning to the U.S., Keith attended Purdue University and obtained a Masters Degree in English Literature. Keith taught English at Youngstown State University and eventually settled on a teaching position in the Shaker Heights School system at a time when it was considered one of the 10 best public school systems in the country. In 1961 Keith joined the Cleveland Bonsai Club and began a serious pursuit of the art of bonsai. He would eventually start a nursery and import business that established him as one of the very first Americans to deal in Bonsai stock, pots and tools. At this time he also established his reputation as one of the most prolific bonsai writers with his frequent contributions to the bonsai journals being established during this period. His reputation grew as an artist, writer, lecturer and authority on all things related to bonsai and suiseki. His approach to bonsai was unique and Keith always valued original work over to the refining of imported stock. It needs to be noted too that his wit and talent as a lecturer took him all over North America as one of the most popular speakers the world of bonsai has ever produced. His knowledge and reputation eventually lead to his being selected to curate the Bonsai Collection at Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh.
Even though bonsai was his main artistic outlet, Keith was a man of many interests. He was a serious and accomplished potter, a knife and tool maker, a wood worker, a gardener and always a lover of great literature. Keith was a uniquely talented and intellectually gifted man who touched the lives of many people and who leaves this world a much richer place.

-Kelley Adkins


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Thank you

Post  JayB on Tue May 24, 2011 11:34 pm

Thank you all so much for the kind words and memories you have all shared. I had a slightly different perspective on the Bonsai world growing up. Dad would have a ton of folks over during Easter weekend, and I recall being rather obnoxious to most of you that would come out to the house to work with him. I also fondly remember going to the Cleveland Bonsai Show every year and help him sell tools and drink too much iced tea. Watching the faces of folks as Dad spoke was quite something. He seemed to have a gift for enrapturing the group. I also recall having Mitsuko Sakata do Sumi paintings for me and my brother and sister.

I do have a knife he made for me years ago that rests on my bookshelf with several things he brought to us from his many trips to Japan. I last saw Dad three years ago when he came to Portland to visit my wife and I. My wife's statement of "I was a bit unnerved being in the same room with two of you", made us both laugh, as Dad and I were very similar. Again I thank you for the memories and kindness. Dad will indeed be missed.

Jay B Scott


Last edited by JayB on Tue May 24, 2011 11:35 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : grammar)

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Re: Ohio, USA Bonsaiman Keith Scott passed

Post  Dale Cochoy on Wed May 25, 2011 2:22 am

Thank you Jay.
It's been a long time since I remember seeing you or your sister. Probably at the Easter outing.

Dale

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Re: Ohio, USA Bonsaiman Keith Scott passed

Post  Rob Kempinski on Fri May 27, 2011 3:18 pm

Sorry to hear that Dale, I appreciate your stories. I believe I met him very briefly at a show several years ago (can't recall where or which one). He sounds like a fine man and the bonsai world will miss him. BCI will take time to recognize his accomplishments at our upcoming convention.

My condolences to his family and friends.

Rob Kempinski
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Re: Ohio, USA Bonsaiman Keith Scott passed

Post  Dale Cochoy on Sat May 28, 2011 8:13 pm

Rob,
I've picked out some of Keiths bonsai pots for the auction/raffles.

dale

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Re: Ohio, USA Bonsaiman Keith Scott passed

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