Tell me your story. Don’t leave out any details.

1 Jun

So, I blogged about the flower shop on my street a few days ago. As it turns out, my teachers thought the story was a great find so I went further with it.

Today, I went back to The Flower Stall with one of my professors for a follow up interview and to take some more photos.

The store wasn’t open, but we found Bill’s (the owner) door and rang the doorbell. (In a non-creepy way, don’t worry.) He finally answered, and after some awkward yelling back and forth from the third floor of the building to the sidewalk, he came down and opened the shop so we could talk.

This has to have been one of the best follow ups ever. Let me tell you…

A customer admires a photograph of Cornell Edwards, and told me her personal stories about the influential man.

To start, no amount of words can accurately describe The Flower Stall’s interior. At first glance, it’s cluttered, messy and disorganized, but once you enter the building, the clutter and disorganization vanish and a tale of a 50-year long romance unfolds. Each and every article in the store has a story, and Bill would love to share every single one of them.

The purpose of me returning to the shop was to ask some more in-depth questions. I needed to get information that I had overlooked in the first interview, and, most importantly, I needed to find out the status of the future of the shop.

As we began to talk, Cornell’s death was brought up. I won’t lie, I was reluctant to ask details about it in the first interview because I could see the pain on Bill’s face.

Anyway, it was brought up and Bill told the entire story. He discussed Cornell’s stroke, the attempts at rehabilitation and his ultimate death. Bill was so choked up the entire time. The pain was real and raw- true emotion- exactly the type of emotion attached to a worthwhile story.

We went on to talk with Bill for another hour or so, and he continued to tell stories of Cornell’s life, people’s reactions to his death and his future plans for the store. (Which include something involving a non profit organization, hopefully.)

Once again, I left The Flower Stall with a new lesson learned. Sometimes, pain is inevitable. People feel pain. It’s a real emotion, and I’m going to encounter it as a journalist.

I’ve been told before that as a journalist, you become people’s therapist, shoulder to cry on, person to vent to and everything in between.

Today, I realized that was the absolute truth as Bill began to heal a bit more while telling me his 50-year journey with the man who stole his heart.

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4 Responses to “Tell me your story. Don’t leave out any details.”

  1. danifelice1124 June 2, 2011 at 12:23 am #

    Once again, another great entry. Loving the blog Catey, it makes me feel like I’m there with you :}!

    • cateytraylor June 2, 2011 at 9:35 am #

      Thank you Danielle! Wish you were here 🙂

  2. co June 2, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

    there is a grace and depth to how you interact with people or Bill wouldn’t have shared as much. His story with Cornell is an archeological dig on a love that defied the law, society, family but also reveals the enormous journey all of us have taken to embrace a more loving world.

    • cateytraylor June 2, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

      Their story is definitely inspiring. I’m still so glad I came into the shop last Saturday. I’ve met some remarkable people from there, yourself included!

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