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VinceVINCE

Vince had a few free minutes of time to spend on a weekday afternoon so he decided to stop by the park to work on the flower beds. Since the park was a community project, volunteers from the community did the upkeep and maintenance of the flowers, shrubs and pathways. They were lucky enough to be sponsored by the local garden supply store, and the store supplied the plants, and store crews kept the grass cut.

The park had turned out to be a great thing for the community. Everyone loved how it looked, and many enjoyed the benefits of the hard work that had been expended. Town residents had planted trees, shrubs, and flowers and built the twisting pathways that ran around the perimeter and between the flower beds and shrubbery.

Vince worked at the delicatessen but had been told many times that he had a true green thumb, and he loved working with flowers.

“The gardens look lovely this year!” Sally at the garden store gushed when he stopped to pick up some flats of petunias for the center flower bed.

“Thanks,” he smiled, “It’s not all me. I’ve had plenty of help. Thank the store for supplying the plants. They do such a great job every year. It’s always a privilege to plant what they provide.”

“I’ll let them know,” she smiled.

When Vince showed up at the park, he spent some time weeding the flower beds out by the Market Street sidewalk. He also did a quick walk-through the entire park and picked up the wrappers and trash lying around.

Then he moved on to the center flower bed, moving his trowel and the flats of flowers to where he could easily reach them. He was planting the petunias when he heard voices approaching.

“And here’s his favorite bench,” a little girl’s voice said, “He likes to sit here when it’s nice out. He feeds the squirrels and watches the birds. When I have my allowance, I bring him ice cream cones. He likes chocolate the best.”

“Would you like to sit here for a while, Mr. Webb?” a younger man’s voice asked.

“He doesn’t answer,” the little girl chattered on, “But it’s okay. He listens a lot.”

“He’s listening to you very closely now,” the younger man said, “He hasn’t taken his eyes off of you.”

“We’re friends,” the little girl said.

Vince stood up so he could move to the other side of the flower bed. He glanced over, curious to see who was talking, and he saw an older man sitting on the park bench. Beside him sat a younger man, dressed in what looked like nurse’s scrubs or a uniform of some sort. In front of the bench a little girl had begun singing to herself as she played hopscotch. The older man watched her intently with a faint smile on his face. Vince nodded to the younger man who waved back.

Vince turned to go back to his gardening, already deep in thought about what he could add to the bed that would work well with the petunias. He thought impatiens would work well in the shade at the base of the tree, and he made a mental note to ask Sally if they had any ready.

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