For this weeks Sepia Saturday I'm doing a reposting from 2009. I had so few readers at the time that I doubt anyone remembers Barry the Florist.
Once upon a time there was a little florist's shop at 222 Market Street, San Francisco. The owner's name, according to the big sign on the front of the shop, was Barry. Barry was proud of his shop and the truck he had for making deliveries. You could buy an orchid for $1.50 and you got free delivery all over the city. Looking for a gold fish in a bowl with a castle? $1.98 from Barry. Longing for a pair of love birds in a cage? $9.95 complete from Barry.
Over the years how many women saw Barry's truck pull-up out front of their home and paused hoping there were flowers inside for them? How many young men walked nervously through the doorway wanting to buy a corsage for the young lady who'd caught their eye? And how many families who had just lost a loved one to war saw Barry's truck arrive with funeral wreaths in remembrance?
We'll never know the answers to any of these questions. Barry the small businessman is not at 222 Market Street anymore. The entire block was raised a long time ago replaced with a cement plaza and two large nondescript high-rises. I've walked by this address many times and never even thought of the life that once was. Now it's just noise of a big city, homeless people, corporate logos. I think we should all miss Barry and what he represented.