Natalie - thank you!
I don't know if it was because of your message to her or mine, but she did respond. It was funny, too, because she gave me a thumbs-up on a post in the Veggie and Fruit forum the moment RIGHT AFTER I sent her the message. Talk about strange, coincidental timing. I did a double-take at my System Messages because that was such weird timing, but atleast I knew she was online, so I stayed online to see if she might see my Tree-Mail and, sure enough, I received a response back from her!
So if it was more because you Tree-Mailed her, a big thanks to you! She confirmed that the original hybridizer's (Hibbard) farm is gone, so I really hope that I can get my hands on this cultivar before it becomes an extinct variety. Rita might be the only person who has it and knows she has it. (I'm sure other people have purchased it for their home gardens and have either forgotten the name and/or never intend to propagate and sell it).