Tiffany's interview notes with Aleene 2-12-09:
It was during this time that Dad was serving in the Army in WWII (he was an airplane mechanic) so Mom opened Arcadia Florist with the manpower help of her father, F. Murrin Jackson. Apparently, Grandpa J had seen an ad in the paper for this store that was for sale.
Now, they had the store. Then what? Mom vividly recalls that Grandpa J found an abandonded icebox which he hauled to the store. This icebox is where she kept her fresh flowers. It didn't deter her that she couldn't afford to purchase an electric refrigerator. The ice truck regularly delivered block ice to her store.
How did she decide to start a florist business? One of her first creative memories was when she as about 10 years old and she collected the foil wrappers from inside cigarette packs. She then picked fresh flowers from in front of the apartment where she lived in Los Angeles and turned the flowers and foil into corsages which she sold on Wilshire Boulevard. What motivated her to do this? She wanted to earn money to take herself and the neighborhood kids to the local movie theatre.
In her late teens, she worked at Lockheed Plant 2 in Los Angeles. Her father worked there at the time and so he arranged an interview for her. She was hired as a timekeeper during the graveyard shift. After that, she worked the swing-shift switchboard for a short while in a small hotel in Los Angeles.
Aleene also recalls working as a server on Friday and Saturday nights at the El Rancho restaurant in Burbank by the "horse bridge." She said it was known as the "black market" restaurant as they served steaks which were a rarity during the war. She also recalls that Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys were the band that played there.
-We'll add more on this topic as we find more photos to post and have more interview time with Mom-
The following photos and memorabilia are shared in no particular order. Some are favorites - some were just easier to find and share :) We have thousands of photos to scan and stories to share so please check back often to read the updates!
|LADIES AND GENTLEMEN . . . drum-roll please . . . where it all began . . . this is Mom's Seller's Permit dated 7-31-44. This would have been the date that she officially opened her first business - Arcadia Florist in Arcadia, California. She was 20 years old.|