Phillie Pride


The Flower Show received a visit from Good Morning America earlier this week.

From the diary of Larry Stier, head of the horticultural society’s Green City Youth program:

Good Morning America came to the Flower Show and I had to be at there by 7 a.m. to meet and greet three of our second-grade students who were to appear at 8 a.m. When I left the house at 6:25 a.m. and walked to the Broad Street subway, South Philadelphia was a deserted sheet of ice. I arrived at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on time, but was still nervous. It’s not an easy thing for these families from North Philly to get their children into town at any time, much less at 7 a.m.

The previous day’s 9-inch snowstorm and school closings made it even more precarious. Would anyone show up? Then I saw Mya and her mother. Mya was a special student of mine at McKinley. On a field trip to Tinicum, she walked with me for more than a mile, asking questions the whole way. That day, when her teacher was at my side, I silently pointed to the top of her head and queried, “M.G.?” And Mya replied, “Mentally Gifted?” I was sold on this child’s personality from that moment on.

Seeing me at the Flower Show, Mya raced over and hugged me. I took Mya and her mother upstairs to the Show floor staging area, introduced her to our PR man Alan Jaffe, and returned to the lobby to await the others. Would they show? YES! Just a few minutes later, a car pulled up and out popped Kayani and Tabatha and Kayani’s grandmother (who was already sneezing with allergies!).

“Mr Larry,” they screamed, as they saw me, and they too ran up with hugs. I took them all up to find Alan and Mya and mom, and we waited. We still had some time to kill, so we walked around the displays. Mya asked to see the statue of Neptune (which she had seen on TV). I took them to what I thought was the proper exhibit, but Mya said, “No, that’s not it. I mean the statue where he’s holding a trident. TRIDENT!!! What 7 year old knows this word?

Then, a few exhibits later, she spotted a version of the Mona Lisa.

“Look,” she exclaimed, “There’s the Mona Lisa, DaVinci’s Mona Lisa.”

I was incredulous. By now it’s time for the live shot. We were escorted over to the Stoney Bank Nurseries exhibit where the sequence was to be filmed. The exhibitors were there as well, and as the three beautiful 7-year olds were brought into the display, I got my camera and positioned myself to take some pictures.

“Sam Champion,” the talent, was chatting with the girls, and posing them, and they were all very natural. The crew was setting up the various shots, and, to my left, one of the cameramen lifted his head from the viewfinder and asked, “What’s that red splotch on the statue?”

The statue was far away, but acted as a natural backdrop to Sam and the three students. The “red splotch” was a Phillies cap that has been placed on the alabaster Roman statue. Jack Blandy, the exhibitor and head of Stoney Bank, explained this to the producer, who relayed this news to the cameraman, adding, “I guess they are still World Champions.”

The cameraperson then asked the producer, “Can we lose it?”

The producer relayed the question to Jack Blandy, who, after a moment of thought replied, “Well, maybe one of the kids could wear it? … “Maybe Sam (Champion) could wear it?”

The producer went back to the cameraperson, who said, “That’s a negative!”

So the “red blotch” stayed:)

One Response to “Phillie Pride”

  1. toddb Says:

    what a great story and so nice to see some youth at the Flower Show. How can we get more kids to enjoy this fantastic event?

    Todd B

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