Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Leo Sharp in NYTimes

Writing for the Times, Sam Dolnick, has a great long-read on nonagenarian drug mule and daylily breeder, Leo Sharp. If you recall, Sharp was arrested in October 2011 while driving 105 kilos from Michigan City, IN to Detroit for the Sinaloa Cartel.

Day-lily admirers are as intense as boxing fans, arguing passionately about the beauty and staying power of this or that varietal. And Leo Sharp is their Don King — a widely admired hybridizer with nearly 180 officially registered day lilies to his name.

For years, Sharp attended day-lily conventions across the country dressed in either an all-white leisure suit or an all-black one. He traveled with an entourage of Mexican farmhands to help with the hundreds of flowers he would give away, making his admirers swoon.

“The people who do lilies are way cooler than other plant people,” said Nikki Schmith, a gardener in Worden, Ill., who writes a day-lily blog. “He was just a stud. He just had the air. He had 70-year-old swagger.” Schmith has more than a dozen of Sharp’s day lilies in her own garden. She has won Best in Show in a regional contest with his flowers two years in a row.

The article is definitely worth a read.

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