Friday, January 15, 2010

Scene 3a lilies: Let go/Mr. Gregory

The Horticultural Societies board of directors office. Charles, James and two other members are in the office at present.
Another gentleman also accompanies them. His name is Edwin Gregory. Although he resides in Boston, he gives generously to the society and is well respected by the board.
March 16th 1930. Almost six months after the stock market crash. The economy is not “getting better” as President Hoover predicted.
The upper/middle class are by no means struggling quite yet. However, social institutions, such as the Horticultural society, have not been receiving the donations that they need in order to keep a full staff. Rather than letting specialists like Anne go, their plan is to offer her less money and increase her responsibilities to include more menial jobs like cleaning bathrooms, watering, and emptying garbage’s.
Charles and James have requested that Anne come to the office to discuss the matter.
Anne enters the room in silence. All the gentlemen stand to greet her. Despite her discomfort, not knowing why she has been called in, she is bright eyed and wears a warm smile.
Mr. Charles Watkins is aware of Anne’s discomfort. He breaks the silence with a friendly greeting.

Mr. Watkins: Anne so good of you to come!
(As if she had a choice. Motioning to Mr. Gregory)
Anne, I’d like you to meet Mr. Edwin Gregory.

Mr. Gregory: How do you do Miss Hibbert?
(He comes over to her, and warmly takes her hand)

Anne: How do you do Mr. Gregory.

Mr. Watkins: Mr. Gregory has been a society member here in Seattle for years. Though he currently resides in Massachusetts, and is on the board of directors of the Boston chapter, he still finds time to visit when he is here on business.
He was just telling us how impressed he was with your work in the fern and woodland display room.

Anne: How kind. Thank you Mr. Gregory.

Mr. Gregory: I must admit that I am eagerly awaiting the bloom of the malodorous Amorphophallus titanum, or Corpse flower, to emerge.
My understanding Miss Hibbert, is that its fragrance is so strong that the few times it has bloomed in a controlled environment, it’s been kept behind glass so as not to offend patrons with its odor.

Anne: That is my understanding as Well Mr. Gregory. In fact its smell has been known to be so strong, some have even become ill simply by being in the same room as the flower. I imagine that we will have to take precautions so as not to offend our patrons.

Mr. Gregory: That will be a magnificant sight, indeed! I have heard that it's flower can be up to 6 feet tall! Can you imagine? Oh, and the stench, Anne!
When do you expect it to bloom?

Anne: It’s difficult to say. Judging by its age, I anticipate that sometime this year we should see him.
Or should I say, smell him.
(She laughs, the others join in)

Mr. Gregory: I beg your pardon? “He”?

James: (With an undermining tone, laughing at Anne.)
Yes, yes, uh, Anne has been known for giving many of the plants names. Zeus I believe she has named the malodorous specimen. Am I right Anne? Silliness really. In fact she’s becoming known as quite the bohemian.

Mr. Gregory: (Puts on his Glasses)
(He is now looking at her as if she herself is a specimen) How do you come up with the names, I wonder.

Anne: Personality, I suppose.

Mr. Gregory: I beg your pardon?

Anne: I feel botanicals all behave differently. Growth habits, temperaments, reproductive patterns and yes Mr. Gregory, the odors they omit. I suppose it is silliness. (Looking at James)
Perhaps I have been left alone in the company of botanicals for far too long. Though I assure you, we are all of sound mind here at the Conservatory.
(James hangs his head as if he is embarrassed that Anne has said too much)

Mr. Gregory: (Laughing. On the contrary, he is charmed by Anne) I must confess that at times I have found myself thinking the same way about the plants in my greenhouse back home. What relief, to know that a competent, educated professional such as yourself thinks this way also.
(Pulls out his check book writes a check and hands it to James)
I believe that this sum should cover the cost for the construction of the enclosed area Miss. Hibbert will need to display… ‘Zeus’ is his name?
(He looks at Anne, and winks at her)

James: Mr. Gregory Thank you.

Mr. Gregory: You have Miss Hibbert to thank my dear boy. (He walks toward Miss Hibbert and takes her hand. Looks her in the eyes and says)
An honor, Miss Hibbert to have met the lovely face behind such a handsome collection of botanicals. I am familiar with you fathers work as well. You certainly are a chip off the old block, as they say, eh? I wish you the best Miss.
(As he puts on his coat and hat)
Gentlemen I thank you.

James: (Quickly, quietly and aside to Anne)
Well played!

Mr. Gregory: (He begins to walk out the door he turns to James and says)
You have my card don’t you? (James walks over to him, and whispers something as he sees him out.)

(Finally, all the attention is back on Anne)

To continue, go to Scene 3b

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