Well, we have found something the deer won’t eat. Pumpkin vines! What a treat in so many ways to put in a few hills of pumpkin seed: nothing eats the spiny leaves, the vines trail all over your yard thus cutting down on grass mowing, the leaves and blooms are pretty to look at and if all goes well, there will be a wonderful “Charlie Brown” pumpkin patch in October. (Not too late to put in some seed – just be prepared to add a little water.)
Around Davidson today has two important reports. The first is a birthday for Pines’ resident Fred Evans who turns 100 years young TODAY. Happy, happy birthday to you, Fred. The second is the result of the contest to name the new baby at Barger Farm. Hooray for the creative Brian Shaw family who were declared the winners!
FRED EVANS IS 100 TODAY!
Where does one start when interviewing a Centenarian? Let’s start with Fred Evans’ birth on July 19, 1912, in New York City. He was the oldest of three sons and the family soon moved to Larchmont, NY when he was six years old. Fred married Gertrude “Sis” Ganzenmuller in 1938 and they had two daughters, Susan and Nancy. Following his service in the US Army in World War II, wounded twice, including losing an eye, and earning two Purple Hearts, Fred took over the family business from his dad, “Evans Art in Flowers.” This florist shop was located on the lower level of the Lexington Hotel on 48th Street in Manhattan and was well known for “sunshine bouquets” available on a stand outside the shop where passers-by could purchase a bit of floral “sunshine” for one dollar to brighten a work place desk. Fred reminisced about Kate Smith and Arthur Godfrey as customers, to name just a few well-known actors who needed bouquets from time to time.
A wonderful “Evans Art and Flowers” story comes from fellow Pines’ resident Jeanne Stone. Married during World War II, Jeanne and her husband could only afford a one night honeymoon and chose the Lexington Hotel. After checking in, Jeanne’s husband visited the flower shop and purchased a gardenia corsage for his bride – her favorite flower. Small world. Jeanne reconnected with Fred about his floral business when Fred moved to The Pines ten years ago.
Another delightful Fred Evans’ story concerns Fred and four teenage buddies in Larchmont who formed the “Goose and Gander Club” in a neighbor’s empty garage apartment. The group sponsored a dance and with the $500 earned from admission tickets, they purchased a rundown house and 16 acres in the Catskills – in 1934-35 – in a remote valley called Mink Hollow. Those “Goose and Gander” boys had many, many happy family activities in Mink Hollow over the years with cabins built and property divided among the club members. Fred even got to celebrate his 90th birthday there and recalled so many happy memories of earlier years – and no doubt, tales of considerable mischief with his friends.
When the Lexington Hotel lease ran out, “Evans Art and Flowers” moved to 10 West 43d Street where Fred continued in the florist business until that lease ran out and he retired. Following his wife’s death, he came south to be near his daughter, Nancy Evans Dellinger and her husband, Tom, who lived in the New Neighborhood. Visiting The Pines Retirement Community, he fell in love with the grounds and many plantings and moved into his apartment in 2002. His love for chocolate made him an immediate hit among the residents and staff since he kept a well-stocked bowl of candy outside his door. Friends still call him the “Candy Man” although he now has an apartment in Assisted Living.
Fred’s daughters, Susan Evans Jacques, from Doylestown, PA, and Nancy planned a wonderful birthday party for their dad last weekend. An early Saturday afternoon gathering of a few dozen friends in the Living Room of The Pines gave people a chance to meet family members (13 were in Davidson for the event), hear a bit about Fred’s younger years, enjoy cupcakes (Fred had a BIG chocolate one – but only one candle) and punch, sing Happy Birthday, and listen to good friend and fellow Pines’ resident, Dick Cole, play Chopin’s Waltz in C-sharp Minor in honor of Bastille Day, July 14, the day of the party. Fred sat in a chair surrounded by balloons with a velvet king’s crown in case he wanted to wear it while greeting guests. His family had assembled a scrapbook of photo memories, made photo buttons for people to wear and included Fred’s wooden “Evans Art in Flowers” sign at the entrance to the Living Room with a tray of sunshine bouquets for ladies to take home and enjoy. An additional treat for Fred was the arrival of the daughters of two of Fred’s good friends in New York, Missy Bell from Hilton Head, SC, and Barbara Giddes from Atlanta, GA.
Saturday evening a stretch limo, filled with family, was at the door of The Pines to drive Fred in style to a birthday dinner hosted by daughter Nancy at her home on Harper Lee Street. There Fred enjoyed much reminiscing and also had the opportunity to test his lung power blowing out 100 candles on a much larger cake. Quite an accomplishment in terms of candle lighting and quite an accomplishment in terms of a wonderful 100 years! Many thanks to Nancy and Susan for a delightful party and how nice to be able to send best wishes to Fred today – on his REAL birthday!
BREAKING NEWS – AND THE WINNER IS…
Ah, yes, foolishness is good in the summertime when we all take a break from hurried and harried schedules and kick-back to join in the naming of a new calf at Barger Farm. Beautiful Angus-Beefmaster heifer Mom Sieben had her first calf on June 15 and Charolais steer Steiffie is a Dad (well, step-dad) for the first time (LINK to AD for 22Dec09). Around Davidson sponsored a contest to name this new baby and is glad to report that more than a dozen entries were submitted before the June 30 closing date. Suggestions ranged from Piney to Purvis, Honey to Baby Huey, Streusel to Strudel but the winning entry came from the Shaw family.
Seems that Dad Brian and Mom Pat were vacationing with sons, John Patrick and Matthew, in Rhode Island and had some family time to think “deep thoughts” and come up with a name. Wow! Their choice, “Sieben-Up,” leaped off the email page at the Barger Farm. But trying to be fair, we sent all the names to the four Barger children and asked them to vote. Agree on anything? Hmmm…never have and it seems, never will. So Farmer Barger was called in to decide and without a moment’s hesitation chose the Shaw’s entry.
So now Barger Farm has a beautiful baby calf named SIEBEN-UP! Sieben likes the name and Steiffie agrees – because he has to. Farmer B. is now trying to encourage the calf to come when called by his new name but thus far, hot days and youthful indifference are not helping in the training.
So Congratulations to the Shaw family who proudly can exhibit their prize, a Sieben-Up trophy, on a prominent shelf in their Virginia Road home – and no doubt toast it regularly with a sip of 7-Up! Thanks again to all who participated and in case you are wondering, the name Streusel was the runner-up. (Just wait ‘til next year’s baby!)
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