It was my birthday a few days ago, and I was blessed with the gift of flowers and a plant from two close friends. These sit side-by-side atop my upright piano:
Little did I know that “Roy” who delivered the tulips to my doorstep had quite a story to share about how he met his wife, Ana, who was practically born in a flower bed. Same applied to Roy who happened to attend at an Art Gallery showing in Berkeley 16 years ago, where his wife-to-be had produced a stupendous floral arrangement. It took his breath away and he would not resist asking a reception official if she could locate the creator in a vast crowd.
Roy being starstruck and Ana’s willingness to meet an admirer, sparked a romance that turned into a long-term collaborative love draped in les fleurs.
Both Roy (Bleiweiss) and Ana’s passion for flowers culminated in their creating a specialty shop at 1302 Gilman in Berkeley in December, 2002. (Ana’s Flowers) Since then, praise from customers has streamed into card tributes stacked amidst the bouquets.
Ana is from Brazil, incidentally, and Roy hails from Shaker Heights, an affluent Cleveland suburb. He worked as an attorney until his retirement, having graduated from Ivy league schools, Yale and Harvard, no less.
Finally, as a living, breathing musical remembrance of Ana’s Flowers, I’ve imported her ambiance to Bela Bartok’s gorgeous “Evening in the Country.”
A Love Story woven on a Chopin Canvas