Well let's see, I was asked to write a bio "Duane on Duane". OK!
It seems that I've been around water features all of my life. My love of water gardening began in the early 60's when I was in first grade. My father built a small pond in the front yard, and I was hooked from then on. We then lived in Germany for four years, and when we came back he made a bigger water feature for the back yard. In addition, grandparents and two aunts also had water features in their yards. When I got my own house a "few" years later, I had to have one too!
Now that I was an official "water gardener", it was time to join some clubs. I currently belong to the Water Garden Club of South Texas, the Texas Koi & Fancy Goldfish Society, the Austin Pond Society, and the North Texas Water Garden Society. As the first two are based here in San Antonio, those are the only two that I really have the chance to be active with. And since 1999, I've actually spent all of my time with the Water Garden Club of South Texas. And I do mean ALL of my time!
But when I'm active, I'm really ACTIVE. The first club that I joined was the Texas Koi & Fancy Goldfish Society. While active in that, I served as membership chairman and then as treasurer. I was then asked to help form a new club geared more to actual water gardening. Four of us formed the Water Garden Club of South Texas, which as been described as the "fastest growing horticulture based club in the area". I served as charter president in 2000 and 1st vice president in 2001. Both years I also served as web master, building a massive web site promoting both the club and a reference manual for water gardening in general.
In addition to my love of water gardening, I also like the gardening type with dry dirt. My yard is full of pots and hanging baskets. This too is a love that I developed from my parents.
I am also a "Christmas decorating fool", turning my house into a Christmas wonderland. I collect the lighted villages made by Department 56 (their Dickens theme), angels, and nativity scenes. And, of course, I belong to a club of Department 56 collectors called The River City Villagers. For the RCV, I have served as membership chairman and treasurer.
Another hobby that I have is one that goes perfectly with water gardening: photography. I love taking pictures, especially of anything involving water. I guess my early love of water subjects was an inkling of personal water gardens to come! I have taken hundreds upon hundreds of water garden pictures, with many of them close-ups of water lily blooms. I have recently purchased a Sony DSC-S75 digital camera, so now the sky is the limit for my picture taking!
Of course, one can never forget about the community in which you live. For my civic involvement, I am a Rotarian, belonging to the San Antonio Sunrise Rotary Club. I have served as newsletter editor for that organization as well as currently serving as web master.
In years past I have been involved at the local, state, and national levels of both the Jaycees and a national professional business fraternity (Alpha Kappa Psi) from my college days. I have also been involved with numerous professional associations. In each and every organization that I have ever belonged to, I have been elected to various offices. Yes, I believe in the saying "you get out of an organization what you are willing to put into it."
In 2005, I started a pond consulting company called The Pond Planner. I will not actually build ponds, but rather help potential pond owners in the planning of their pond. Whether they are going to do the construction themselves or have it done, I can help in the planning of their dream pond. While started in 2005, the service is not available until 2006.
Duane Eaton is a constant source of humor, tongue-in-cheek insight and information as an active participant with our email discussion list. His "Fixing a Leak" article linked below is a sample of his wit and style -- but he also documents the serious "how tos" of building of a very successful new water gardening club in "Club Charter History".
Clyde Ikins Collection of Aquatic Images
to Victoria-Adventure. Read his charming account of how that happened here: