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ABOUT TO RETIRE

100 DAYS AND COUNTING

By Jack Royce Smithson

Well, my days are numbered.

One hundred more days and I am retiring. I have been a florist for 35 years, and have had my own business since l975.

I am hanging up the florist knife as of May 29, 2004, and won't be pokin' the posies any longer.

I am ready, although I do have mixed feelings. I have watched over the years and seen the styles change and the prices go up. I have done weddings and then watched as the children have come along and then have done the weddings of the children and the cycle continues. I think that the first time I did a wedding of one of the children was the first time that I felt that I had really been around a long time.

I look ahead at closing down, and I really get mixed emotions.

Most of my customers have become good friends and almost like family. I dread leaving them to another florist to take care of them. I have really spoiled my customers and I fear that they are going to go into shock when they have that first order filled by someone else. But, you have to cut the string someday and this is my moment.

I am Past President of our Missouri State Florists Assn and Past President of the Ozark Florists Assn. I have won trophies for my work and I will cherish all the good memories.

One of these days I'll be pushing "up" daisies, but, until then I thank God for the wonderful life I have had in this business and I wouldn't have traded a moment of my career. Maybe I'll arrange some flowers for around the home ..... but, don't bet on it. I am sure I will keep my fingers in the business a little, but, officially — in 100 days — I'm out of here.

Maybe I'll teach a little flower arranging class .... maybe volunteer for the flower room at the hospital ....... Well, they say you always work harder after you retire. We shall see .... but, until then ..... I'll be sure to stop and smell the roses ..... in someone elses flower shop.

Jack Royce Smithson
Jack Royce Smithson, Florist, in beautiful Kansas City, Misssouri.
jackroycesmithson@sbcglobal.net

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