The two little white hair ladies that owned the florist shop
were very nice. During my interview with them, they were more then
willing to work around my schedule as a box boy at a Safeway store.
They would pay me six dollars, for two hours a day, which was good
pay; I was making $1.25 an hour at Safeway.
I got out of high school at two; I would get to the shop by two
thirty. The ladies would have the 1956 DeSoto station wagon loaded,
and hand me a list of deliveries. There were only two rules: be on
time and never deliver damaged flowers.
I was always running late, my first wedding delivery was at three,
which gave me thirty minutes to get across Seattle. The church was
huge, there were cars parked around the church for four blocks. I
drove over the curb, and parked the station wagon at the bottom of the
stairs leading up to the church. I grabbed an armful of pew flower
holders, and ran into the church.
The pews were half filled, and there were people waiting to be seated,
I ran down one side of the aisle, popping the holders on the end of
the pews. I ran out of holders, half way back up on the other side of
the aisle. I ran back out to the station wagon, picked up one armful
of holders, and a armful of the small bundles of flowers the went
into the holders.
By the time I got all the holders and flowers in place, the pews were
filled and the music started playing. I still had to place the flower
arrangements on the altar, and roll out a white rug. I just got the
alter done and started rolling out the white rug .The music changed to
"Here comes the bride" I was only twenty feet ahead of the bride and
her father, I just made it.
I pulled in 15 minutes late; I could see a large crowd gathered on the
grass. I pulled along side the hearse, jumped out, grabbed the wreath,
and ran around the crowd, till I got behind the minister. I pushed the
stakes of the wreath into the ground, turned and ran back to the DeSoto.
When I got back to the shop, I was asked if I was on time for
the funeral? I said yes, "the casket was still above the ground."
I slammed on the brakes, as the police car came speeding through the
intersection, against the light. The sudden stop and impact buried me
in broken pottery, dirt and flowers. Oh No, I hit a police car. I was
covered in four hundred dollars worth of damaged flowers. I knew I
would not make it to the wedding. I hit the rear panel of the Ford
police car, it tore the rear bumper off and took half the trunk with
A police officer helped me out of the station wagon; I had the wind
knocked out of me. An ambulance showed up, along with three other
police cars, I just knew I was going to jail. I was placed in back of
a police car, and an investigator started asking me questions. After
about an hour answering questions, I ask the investigator if I could
make a call to my shop.
I stood in the phone booth, with the phone in my hand, trying to
figure out what I was going to say. I had to build up my courage to
make the call. After I told the ladies what happened, they showed more
concerned for me then flowers or the DeSoto, they closed down the
shop, and came out to the accident. The investigator released me and
my boss gave me a ride home.
After fact………..I was never charged or ticketed for the accident, I
worked for the florist until I graduated from high school.
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