LINCOLNTON, N.C.––In the words of songwriter Leslie Bricusse, “What a lot of pretty flowers!”
And at Drum’s Florist in uptown Lincolnton, a lot of pretty flowers is indeed what you’ll see. According to owner-operators Steve and Jeanne Bailey, Drum’s is this year marking 76 years of business.
Mrs. Bailey explained Monday that E.F. Drum began the florist business back in 1938, one year after starting Drum’s Funeral Home. The florist’s was originally located at 509 E. Main St.
“But after several years, it was obvious that parking was a problem,” Mrs. Bailey informed, “so they moved it to its present location at 204 N. Academy St. On Academy Street, it was first located on the side and basement of their funeral home, which had been the Abernethy house. In the 1960’s, Mr. Drum decided to update, so a new funeral home and a florist were built.”
Then in the 1980’s, the funeral home was sold. And in 1994, the Drums were wanting to retire, and so it was turned over to the Baileys, as Mrs. Bailey revealed.
“Today,” she said, “as always, the florist is a big part of the community where customers become friends. Of course, funerals are a big part of the business. But Valentine’s Day, Mothers’ Day, weddings and proms help to spread a lot of joy. With a staff with over 100 years of experience and by buying in bulk, the best and freshest flower arrangements are available to our friends and customers.”
Mrs. Bailey noted that the florist’s is a place positively drenched in memory.
“So many memories,” she observed, “those of joy, such as births and weddings, and those of sorrow, with the loss of a loved one. Also, there are so many busy days, working frantically to meet our deadline, searching for just the right flowers, then arriving in just enough time to complete the designs and get them delivered.
“Once,” she added, “we had booked a small wedding on a Thursday, and the order somehow was overlooked. The phone rang at 5 p.m. that day, as we were walking out the door. The bride said, ‘Will you be delivering my flowers soon?’”
And so, as Mrs. Bailey recalled, she and fellow staffer Libby Reep jumped into action.
“As she made some arrangements, I gathered the equipment, and we loaded the van and headed out,” she said. “Libby was driving while I made corsages. We arrived in time for the 6:30 wedding!”
Such a business is indeed a labor of love for the staff at Drum’s.
“So many of our customers truly love flowers and amaze us with their stories of how long their flowers last, due to the tender, loving care they give them,” Mrs. Bailey remarked. “Many plants can be enjoyed for years.”
Yes, rather like Drum’s Florist itself: a beloved thing that remains ever green.
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