The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

February 15, 2007

Petal Pushers

School offices overrun with Valentine's Day deliveries

As the school day began, so did the deluge Wednesday at Story Elementary School.

But rain didn’t flood the school office — Valentine’s Day deliveries did.

Between heart-shaped balloons, stuffed animals with hearts, heart-shaped candy boxes, flowers and of course, classroom goodies, the outpouring of gifts kept receptionist Nancy Lockett busier than usual directing traffic.

“We have 750 kids here,” Lockett said in a lull after lunch. “Over half of the parents have brought something, either for teachers or cupcakes (for parties), something.”

Around the country, Valentine’s Day brought forth the usual stream of cards, flowers, candy and the like as family and friends exchanged tokens of their love and affection.

Local florist Pat Curry, owner of “Flowers by Pat” on West Oak Street, said business was booming as usual, despite higher prices for roses brought on by freezing weather in California.

“We did more than we did last year,” Curry said Wednesday afternoon. “We started Sunday (making up orders).”

The most popular type item? No surprise there.

“Roses, roses and more roses,” Curry said.

In addition to the traditional bouquets of roses, another type of arrangement featuring 20-ounce Cokes or Dr Peppers surrounded by snacks and balloons had been popular for men, she said.

While business was strong overall, one segment has fallen off in recent years — school deliveries.

“We used to have a tremendous school business,” Curry said, before Palestine and Westwood high schools stopped allowing deliveries to students.

Westwood High School secretary Kay Denison said that the district had included the “no delivery” rule in the student handbook to keep down distractions in the classroom.

“The only time we allow deliveries is homecoming,” Denison said, adding that the band boosters had sold carnations in the school as a fund-raiser.

At Palestine High School and Middle School, enough people found ways around the rule to keep office counters well-decorated with bouquets, bears and balloons waiting to be picked up or taken to classrooms.

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