Monday, February 9, 2015

Koolbamboo The 12 year adventure friends come and Gone
German Gabriel doing his thing..
Its been quite a while that I have taken the time to add to this blog a few years actually. The Bamboo path has been quite perilous as time takes its toll too many may of the those who have made an impact in this field have gone from our midst. As I begin to re-energize my blogosphere I wish to honor a couple of people who have passed and influenced much of what bamboo is today in the sense of commercialization. One of the most important innovators and promoters Gabriel German Londoño. A great personal friend and incredible Colombian statesman. We met German Gabriel in 2002 with an epic tour of his Farm. He reminded me of Sean Connery and always had a curios little piece of bamboo stem in his mouth which he later revealed as his quit smoking apparatus. He was great friends with Marcelo Villegas and Simon Velez and he was convinced that Guadua was the future of construction. He was instrumental in the construction of the two ZERI pavilions and donated much of the bamboo used in the construction of the prototype located in Manizales. He was known as "El hombre del bambu" and Im sure he is roaming around in a guadual (bamboo forest) in heaven trying to figure out what to do with all of that bamboo just like here on earth..

Barry McCarthy showed up at my office in 2003 and saw the potential for a business and ended up being my greatest competitor. He created a company called Bamboo Barry and proceeded to emulate my company and to be fair he had a few innovations of his own.

Bamboo Barry Character Drawing
 quite close to the real"character"

Needless to say we were not friends for a very long time in those days. He moved his company from Chicago to Stuart Fl and then directly here to Miami. After some time and a lot of the realizations that the bamboo pole business is not a great money maker. The demand for bamboo in the U.S. is very seasonal to say the least. Barry and I had many falling outs and it was often like walking on eggshells around him as his family can attest to. He had many similar products such as the Solaris canvas structure that Jorg Stamn developed with a canvas roof very similar the the canvas roof  Jorg stood under in 2003 at Fairchild tropical gardens offered by you guessed it Koolbamboo and Guaduatech.  To Jorgs credit its a very intelligent design for that paraboloid stye roof and nice looking structure. The bamboo business has almost left us shipwrecked many times so we had an alliance that became  close friends until his death. Who really has time to have enemies any way with cellphone blogs etc.   I was blessed  by  forgiving Barry  and embracing his friendship.  Barry said to me one day " Its a very funny world Will I don't know any one else in the world who knows about the bamboo businesses like you" and I had to agree with him it was strangely mutual. We have seen many start up companies and people who have great ideas for bamboo some legit and others not so much who have come and heated up the press and the web with this idea that bamboo is going to save the world and make themselves a ton of coinage, only fade off into something else and leaving us to have to explain the truth about bamboo , its advantages and great limitations. I still get calls from people who want to plant bamboo and know if I will buy it from them when and if it grows. Planting bamboo in South America is like taking sand to the beach.There is so much misinterpretation of data and facts especially in the species native to central and South America. mostly preservation,another blog for the future perhaps dispelling the modern media machine surrounding bamboos in the Americas. We used to share stories about people who would call us and try to sell us bambusa Vulgaris out of their yards. Bambusa Vulgaris is the most common bamboo found in the world. It is very weak and as far as preservation construction highly unsuitable for any thing other than bonfires. The conversation would go something like, " how much did they want to give you ," response: " give me ha they want 30 dollars a pole", followed with strong laughter... I liked to tell him that he was the president of the FOSS , my made up name for all the crazies in bamboo The Fringe Of Society Society and he would relish the title gleaming as he perfectly fit the role..Rest Peacefully Brother...

1 comment:

Private placement said...

So happy bamboo Barry is dead. A horrid human