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I am the daughter of Shakespeare's lost characters. I grew up in a world of fist-fighting bears at the county fair and long lost brothers. It was imaginative and twisted and delightful. Sundays were reserved for family lunches, or "socials," where the adults would rehash a story that had become family lore, sometimes getting lucky enough to overhear a new detail from an unsuspecting adult who didn't realize my prying ears were listening. Storytelling, for me, became a life line--one of the strongest connections I had to family. My dad used to tell this story, that I would walk to him with a stack of books when I was little; and he'd say, "Which one should I read?" to which I'd reply, "Read all of them, daddy! Read all of them!" I'd climb up in his lap and listen to story after story.
I majored in English in college, hoping that I could give the same gift to my students, the gift of the story. I think my dad had a lot to do with that. In 2014, my dad passed unexpectedly. Although he left behind a few very special family heirlooms intended for me, he left only one possession legally in my name--his 1987 blue-sparkle Harley Davidson, the same motorcylce I'd tried, unsuccessfully, to get him to sell for years. Using the funds from the sell of that motorcycle, I brought this dream to fruition. I believe this was his way of helping me heal--his gift to me on the second anniversary of his death, the anniversary of cotton. And with that, Cotton Social was born, a beautiful new pathway for me to hear, interpret, and tell stories through flowers.