Mr. Takahashi was a retired groundskeeper and he loved to grow orchids. He had spent his whole working life at the hotel working in the greenhouse and driving around on the little isuzu three wheel buggy-car-truck thing making sure the plants had flowers on them.
Mr. Takahashi’s dream
He sold his orchids at my parents hardware store, would come around in his old grey Datsun pickup truck every two weeks and change out the plants in his own small immaculately organized section of the garden center behind the store. Garden center is a stretch. 2×6 boards run through 37 hollow blocks turned on end made benches, a random smattering of our own half dead plants made a fairly pitiful statement.
among tattered weeds
bloom bright, smell like candy
There was an accounting of sorts between he and my mother. He would come in with his potted flowers stacked neatly in an old wooden coke bottle tray and trade out the blooming ones for the ones that were looking raggedy and then with a pencil, would write the prices of the old plants taken and the new ones that replaced them, note the ones that had sold in a very official looking spiral receipt book and leave it with one of us kids.
orchids in tin cans
you boys no make them wet feet
masking tape price tags
He is long gone now, I just thought it would be nice, to tell his story.