Marietta man displays his uncle’s craftsmanship
As shoppers take to the streets of downtown Marietta this weekend they’ll see many a holiday display inviting patrons indoors to shop local. But one storefront has also paid homage to a shop of the past through its display.
From 1934 to 1970 Marietta residents bought their floral arrangements from Anton’s Flowers, a shop which was first housed on Putnam Street and then made its way to Front Street.
“My parents came from Germany after the first world war and before the second to open the store,” explained Leo Anton, 69, of Marietta. “And my uncle made stained glass windows that were in the store on Front Street.”
Now the stained glass pieces sit in the wintry display of another florist’s shop, Two Peas in a Pod, at 254 Front St.
“I just thought what a wonderful historical connection,” said Jan Shepherd, 55, of Marietta, a designer at the shop. “Marietta is all about history and it just felt like a Christmas miracle to have these windows in our Christmas display.”
The pointed arch windows with lead borders were constructed by John Hassler, Anton’s uncle, to compliment the colorful arrangements designed by the Antons.
“I pretty much grew up in that shop and in fact that’s how I met my wife,” said Anton. “It’s lovely to see my uncle’s work displayed once again in a flower shop.”
Mary Anton, 70, of Marietta, worked for Leo’s parents taking orders during their busy holiday seasons.
“They hired me to help take Christmas orders in 1964, I really learned how much they valued a hard work ethic,” said Mary. “Then years later when I was working in hospice I would find the little mementos that we used to sell, still with the Anton’s Flowers sticker on them. It was just wonderful.”
The pair was happy to share their pieces of history this holiday season and help with one of the busiest times of year for Two Peas in a Pod.
“I remember how busy it got during the holidays, we probably did 50 percent of our business between Christmas and Easter alone,” said Leo. “It’s nice to be a small part of that again, especially with how connected a lot of the stores are in Marietta. Everybody has a tie somewhere.”