detroitblog -- Petal pushers
Heartbreaking, of course. Please read the whole thing.
“This was the worst Christmas we’ve ever had,” Szymanski says, thinking back to last year. Poinsettias used to carry the season. “We had this one lady that ordered for a church, she’d order 15 plants or 20 plants for church at $10 a crack. She couldn’t afford them this year. She called and said she was sorry. She’s 90-something years old and said ‘I just can’t do it no more.’” She was so loyal that, instead of simply not showing up anymore, she felt she had to call and explain. At these old-time neighborhood stores, when a customer breaks their buying routine, it’s noticed. Lately, she’s not the only one making that phone call to them.
Across the street, a pile of cinders and charred wood that used to be another building housing small businesses rots in the sun. Szymanski says he sat with neighbors at the picnic table under the tree next to the store and watched it burn down one evening last year.
“There was a cleaners across the street, there was a doctor, a dentist, all this stuff, and now they’re all gone. They moved out, stores got empty, then they started burning them down. And that’s like anywhere in Detroit.” That’s how old stores go away here, he says. Szymanski figures the same will happen when he and Turza retire. Sometimes, the ending for a place like his isn’t a happy one.
“We’ll close it down and they’ll probably burn it down,” he says, resigned. “In this neighborhood, who knows? Or it’ll be an empty building. Just another one to join all the others that are around.”