When bad things happen to good people. That was the title of a book written 35 years ago wherein Harold Kushner dealt with the tragic and depressing reality of calamities falling upon good persons. I immediately thought of this when I was writing this article and news came on the TV that a fire ravaged the growing house and sales building of JJ’s Greenhouse in Columbia Station, which is on the west side of Cleveland. The address is 26240 Folley Rd. Columbia Station, OH 44028 (440 236 8762). JJ’s son John was interviewed showing the fire destruction was massive for such a small operation.
This design note was going to be on the some of the reasons behind how we choose to landscape our home. Instead the significance of this bad fortune bestowed upon a good hard working family is so awful, I will be writing on what I think of their operation, and what you can do to help, for I know this is a family that will not ask for help.
JJ’s is not a large garden greenhouse, it is not big, nor is it particularly fancy. What it exemplifies is good honest work. With hard work they coaxed much as much as they could from a limited location that is far off the beaten path of the strip malls, big box stores, and fancy upscale boutiques. JJ’s was probably started before any of these buildings that seem to get most of the gardening sales out there were constructed. John has improved things much over the years but is still very much like it must have been back then.
If you’ve gone there you’ve seen the colorful supply of flowers and vegetables that are always healthy, priced reasonably, and sold in a friendly atmosphere of a grow-and-sell greenhouse that harkens back to an older era of small business. There you will fine genuine friendliness, not that ‘smile because it in your job description’ look you might get at a larger operation.
It is the epitome of a mom and pop store, in fact it is a mom and pop, and son and daughter greenhouse. The heating source was old fashioned coal furnace, and the isles were not particularly roomy for there were benches and plants everywhere, taking advantage of the limited area under glass, protected from our often unkind Ohio winters. What I always felt there was comfortable and the appreciation of seeing a family that works honestly hard.
As John mentioned when interviewed on tonight’s news, luckily the fire did not get to their nearby home or the front sales yard. In that front area they will be selling their good supply of cut Christmas trees and pine roping for the holidays.
I highly encourage anyone who will be buying a cut tree or roping for their home this Christmas, please consider stopping up to see the trees and roping up at JJ’s and do a good deed while buying a great tree. I think you will feel good that you did.