Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Interview With James Dingus, Chester Brown Wholesale Florist

So my favorite sales rep in the Boston Flower Exchange, James Dingus, is retiring and leaving New England for warmer climes. Pardon me while I feel a little sorry for myself here, but Jimmy leaves big shoes to fill.

Jimmy knows his flowers, reads people extremely well, never gave me crap for all my last minute "wish lists", can tell when I'm in a rush and need to get the heck out of Boston, has a great sense of humor, and a fantastic memory! Who is going to remember that I need lots and lots of baronia when it's in season?!

I know James is not going to miss getting up at 2:00 am to go to work in the flower market, and he's definitely not going to miss the cold weather and the fact, he's leaving George, the new guy, his heater (those concrete floors get chilly!)...

...but we're sure going to miss him!

Here are a few last words before he goes!

Ten Questions With…James Dingus

Q: Any vital statistics you’d care to share?
A: Jimmy is 64 years old, has worked at the Flower Exchange for over 20 years, the past 11 years at Chester Brown Wholesale Florist, and is leaving Mansfield MA to retire to Charlotte NC.

Q: Why flowers?
A: James remembers helping his mother, who was an avid gardener, with the gardening as a child. Besides his interest in plants, he had drawing skills "oozing out of my hands", which lead him to becoming an architectural draftsman. Work as a draftsman wasn't very satisfying, and after a move from Tennessee to Massachusetts, Jimmy seized on some words of wisdom he heard on TV, that you should work at something you like to do. He came back to that early enjoyment of plants and flowers, going to floral design school and finding a career in flowers.

Q: If not flowers, what?
A: Food! James worked his way through school with restaurant jobs, was one of the first black managers for the Friendly's chain, and even opened a restaurant, way back, with his brother.

Q: Do you have a favorite flower?
A: Lily of the valley - because the aroma of it encapsulates you and is intoxicating.

Q: What’s your favorite place to enjoy flowers?
A: In the garden.

Q: Best thing about working with flowers?
A: The instant gratification, you make something beautiful, it's done, and you move on.

Q: Worst thing about working with flowers?
A: Allergies! The occupational hazard of eyes watering and nose running.

Q: Red Sox or Patriots?
A: Patriots. "Watching baseball is like watching grass grow. And I'd rather watch grass grow."

Q: On my deathbed, I will wish that I had spent more time on _________.
A: Bettering my relationship with my son.

Q: What flowers do you want at your funeral?
A: After assurances that I was not trying to put him in an early grave with these last two questions, James said he didn't care about having any particular flower at his funeral, but he did a funeral once in red and purple which was really striking, so that would work for him! Trust a wholesaler to go with "seasonal flowers". ;-)


Big Asshole said...

HI - this is unrelated to your post, but a response to a comment you left on Wormtown Taxi regarding city views of downtown with 3 Deckers in the foreground.

If you have any friends living on top of Vernon Hill, or Orient Stree - both have the kind of view I think you're looking for.

A friend of mine lives on the third floor of an apatment on Fox Street (off Patterson on Vernon Hill). The view is incredible from there...

Sprout said...

Thanks! I know Patterson lived there...wish I had paid more attention to the surroundings before she moved though!

I'm looking for that iconic image of Worcester with 3 deckers kind of like the row of Victorians in Alamo Park in San Francisco.


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