Saturday, December 26, 2009
This arrangement of her owning her own business was working out very well for her. It provided her with an income while at the same time allowing her children freedom to come and go, or stay at the shop as long as they wanted to hang out, and she liked that. The flower shop was also a place where she could teach her three boys as well as give them a way to earn spending money. Mason, the oldest of the three, started working right away in the flower shop, continuing to work there until he graduated from high school and went away to college. There is no doubt that the work experience he gained in the family business better prepared him to land his first job out in the larger world.
Mom also wanted to help other young people in the community. Over the years the number of high school students that listed their first work experience as Cook Floral on job applications grew to be quite impressive. Many have never forgotten their early days or the things they learned during that time. People still make a point of telling me about their experiences at Cook Floral, or what they remember about my mother, or something she did that helped them later in life. For some it has been twenty or thirty years since they worked at the shop.
Ravenswood today is a very small town of around four thousand people, and was even smaller in 1965. Typical of a small town, people are friendly and almost always speak when passing each other, whether they know you or not. It’s just the small town way and pretty much the same yet today. Ravenswood was, and remains a place where people will go out of their way to help someone just because.