A Remembrance of Herbert M. Saylor

by Darvin DeShazer

Herb Saylor

Herb using his microscope to demonstrate some of the microcharacteristics of the fungi at the SOMA Winter Camp in Philo.

As Herb Saylor strolled through the mushroom fair, put on by the Humboldt Bay Mycological Society in Eureka, a happy glow emanated from him. He was fascinated with fungi and craved the companionship of anyone who could point out a new species to him. As a guest of that club, he made the rounds and introduced himself to the members and checked out everyone's level of taxonomy. We became friends and over the next 20 years hunted together on many occasions. We trekked most of the northern half of the state from Patrick's Point State Park to the University of California Santa Cruz campus and east to the Sierras. He was fond of Samuel P. Taylor State Park, Yuba Pass, his uncle's cabin, Albion, S.F. Watershed and of course his favorite site, Mushroom Corners in the Mendocino Woodlands.

Herb attended the first SOMA Mushroom Fair at Sonoma State University followed by many more in later years and both of the first two SOMA Winter Camps. He was always near a microscope and willing to teach and thrill others about the microscopic features of the fungi. He was a true mycophile. At least two fungi have been named in honor of Herb, Arcangeliella saylorii Thiers (1984) and Destuntzia saylorii Fogel & Trappe (1985).

You always knew that Herb was a friend because he had the ability to reduce you to a little kid. In fact, he was the epitomy of the definition of a Friend. You would get excited when you knew you were about to see him again. He was a highlight of the MSSF Mushroom Fairs and after checking in at NAMA 98 the first person my wife and I headed off to see was Herb. His smiling face will be missed and remembered for many years!