Often I've been told that Astorians are not able to accept change very well. I believe I can shed some light on this statement. It is very difficult to let go of a business that's been a part of your family for four generations. Astoria Florist was our family florist and were good friends. My grandmother, mother, daughter and I were all known on a first-name basis. It was always a friendly, folksy place of business. How nice to have the owners ask about your family, and how they are doing.

Dorothy and Roger Martin's products were always excellent. We all trusted them to take care of our birthdays, weddings and memorials and knew it would be perfect. We always enjoyed visiting them, and could count on Roger's dry sense of humor.

Roger continued the quality product and service after his mother died. Once my sister and I requested something extra special for our beloved aunt's memorial. Roger brought out a notebook with just such items. We selected a heart-shaped arrangement made from willow branches, roses, greenery, etc. We found out Roger was up until 2 a.m. making it perfect for us. He said, "The next time I see you and your sister coming into the store I'm definitely going to hide that notebook."

My daughter's wedding was last June, and I had the dilemma of selecting a florist. I'd only been to Astoria Florist, so this could be challenging. I chose Linda and Lon of Flowers by Laurelwood. Why would I do this when I'd never been in their store or even bought a single flower?

These past few years I had gradually gotten to know them and their product through various community activities and events, including the Astoria Regatta. We worked on events together and got on a first name basis. They not only donated their beautiful flower arrangements, but their time as well. If they care about their community, they'll care about you, individually. I had built a trust towards them. They did a fabulous job on my daughter's wedding and for just a littler more, you can have Lon and his limousine. He's a sturdy Swede. We are Swedish as well, so this was a good sign.

Yes, I've found a new florist family. However, I must be honest. My heart will be heavy for some time, as I truly miss Astoria Florist and getting to visit with "Captain Jack."

NANCY KENNELL

Astoria

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