When Mark Knox aboriginal visited Odessa, he never envisioned it as the abode he would accomplish his home, alpha a business and accession a family.
Back in December 1953, it was aloof a pit stop on the bus ride he was demography to Fort Bliss to be inducted into the Army. Now, Mark Knox Flowers is adulatory 60 years of accomplishing business in Odessa.
But for Knox, his aboriginal appearance of the burghal did not accomplish abundant of an impression.
“The beach was blowing, there weren’t any paved streets then,” Knox said. “It was the affliction abode I’d anytime apparent in my life. I never dreamed I’d be active here.
“That was aloof afore Christmas. It was a abhorrent time to get drafted, aloof afore Christmas. It was absolutely a God-forsaken abode as far as I could tell. I didn’t apperceive how anybody could alive in this place.”
Fate delivered Knox aback to the Permian Basin afterward his service, afterwards which he alternate to academy to acquire a master’s degree.
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“I was attractive for a job in 1956,” Knox said. “The best job action I had was teaching inferior aerial art at Bowie Inferior Aerial Academy in Odessa, Texas.
“I took the job and came to Odessa. I was teaching academy and alive part-time in a annual boutique here. I came out actuality and got the beach in my craw and never capital to leave already I got here.”
Knox’s captivation in the floral business began during his undergraduate canicule at North Texas State.
“The adventure goes aback to 1949 aback I accelerating from (Ponder) aerial school,” Knox said. “I had two earlier sisters in college, I was accepting accessible to go to academy and a adolescent sister appropriate abaft me. My ancestor told me that little country grocery abundance couldn’t accomplish abundant money to accelerate all us kids to college. He said, ‘you’re activity to accept to acquisition yourself a job.’
“So I did. I started alive for a annual boutique in Denton, Texas, all through college. Flowers had consistently been a big allotment of our life. My parents admired flowers and my mother grew abridged plants. We consistently had a backyard abounding of flowers.”
After four years teaching at Bowie and alive in the annual shop, Knox took the attempt and went into business for himself.
“I assuredly absitively if I was anytime activity to do annihilation for myself, I’d bigger get it done,” he said. “In 1960, I adopted a little money and took a architecture on Dixie Street — 707 N. Dixie — and opened a annual shop.”
Mark Knox Flowers is now amid at 1209 E. Eighth St. in Odessa.
Knox’s business and ancestors grew together. In 1962, he affiliated Jane Buttram, who accomplished bed-making at Odessa High. They aloft four accouchement and remained calm for 57 years until her afterlife aftermost July.
“While I was active the annual shop, she was teaching school,” Knox said. “It kept growing and growing and growing because we were alive hard.
“I met her at North Texas and she didn’t bethink me from Adam. She had been in New Mexico, but came aback to Odessa.”
Knox said his and Jane’s educational backgrounds were altogether ill-fitted for the floral business.
“Floral alignment is article of an art itself,” he said. “It follows the aforementioned rules of agreement and blush architecture that we did in art school. It was a abundant accomplishments to become a bartering florist.
“Of course, in home economics, the architecture and home adornment and all that affectionate of angry in to the aforementioned thing. But she was a abundant business person. She was wonderful. She was teaching at Odessa Aerial Academy aback she aboriginal came out actuality and was teaching some courses at Odessa College, too. Aback my business started growing, I said to her would she abdicate teaching and appear to assignment for me because I bare some help. She did and we fabricated a acceptable pair. I was the floral artist and she was a absolutely acceptable businesswoman. She kept me on the appropriate track.”
Knox said the Floral Industry has afflicted badly over the aftermost 60 years.
“When I started in the business, we had carnations, gladiolas and roses,” he said. “That was about the end of the bartering florist flowers that we could buy and sell. We didn’t abound our own flowers commercially, of course. We bought flowers that
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