LEWISTON — Rene "Skip" Girouard has one of the best smelling jobs around.
"You get used to it after a while, but you never tire of the smiles of people when you deliver an arrangement. I'm not a huggy, kissy type of guy, but I go along with it when somebody wants one," he said. "It could be worse."
He often goes the extra mile, adding a song and dance when he makes a delivery on a birthday.
"Mother's Day and Valentine's Day are the busiest days of the year, and while it can be a lot of work, it is never stressful," said the 74-year-old owner of Dube's Flower-Gift Shop on Lisbon Street. He said he plans to keep working until "they bury me out back."
There are some moments that bring back a smile. "One Mother's Day we delivered a box of flowers to a regular customer that I forgot to put the roses in. When she called, I told her that if she was good, she might get the roses next year. We all had a good laugh and I went right back over with the roses," he said.
After 31 years at the shop, he has many colorful stories. On two occasions he delivered a dozen roses to women from men who were trying to make up for something. "They gave me a sour look and threw them right into the trash."
Once he got a call from a man who wanted to know why they delivered a dozen dead roses to him.
"The wife, or ex-wife that is, called us a couple weeks before and wanted us to deliver dead flowers on the day her divorce was finalized. We refused to do it, so she just came in and bought some, left them out with no water and let them turn brown, delivering them herself. We had to explain that to him. He was not happy!
These days he not only delivers flowers, but balloons, toys, stuffed animals, fruit baskets and a variety of collectibles. "One thing that never changes is the smiles you get," he said.