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September 12, 2019 
A Note From Your Chamber Director...
In Memory of George A.
When you are in the "people business" and it is your responsibility to build relationships, it is hard to not become attached to folks. Yes, some are easier than others to keep at "arm’s length", keeping things strictly business, but a few find a way to your heart, and George A. Martin was one of those. 

A caring man, with a welcoming smile, infectious laugh and always a kind word or sincere compliment. A community supporter, family-man and owner/operator of Martin's Flowers and Shrubs and Christmas Tree Farm.

I visited George several times at the Christmas Tree Farm to learn more about the business, which is labor intense and very costly to operate. I honestly do not remember how many acres the farm covers, but on the occasions of my visits, we covered every inch in the four-runner, with George laughing as he hit every bump and gully. And if I said that he planted 20,000 seedlings this past year, that would not be an exaggeration. The farm is often hit hard with a vegetative blight that can wipe out a 1/3 or more of the seedlings planted. I once asked, “why continue, the odds seem against you?” And George replied, “I love it, it’s a challenge, but so rewarding.” That to me was reason enough and something we should all embrace.

George would show me the many variety of trees, noting the difference in the needles, the size and often the aroma. Who knew that varieties have different scents and not all have a pine scent? He tested my “smell abilities” by handing me a clump of needles and asking, “what does this smell like?” To my surprise, one of the varieties had a citrus sent and that became my favorite.

One year at the Rostraver Christmas Celebration, George and wife Patty handed out over 250 Christmas tree seedlings to every child in attendance, with a note asking them to please plant the seedling and watch over it for the next 10 years, as that is how long it could take to grow to maturity. In the meantime, families could certainly visit the Tree Farm to harvest their own for the next decade of holiday seasons.

George’s passing came much too quickly, as I am sure he still had much work to do on the farm, in preparation for this year’s tree harvest. I know in my heart that he out there, watching over the seedlings, and guiding the family as to which trees are ready to be cut this holiday season. If you have never experienced selecting and cutting your own Christmas tree from a local farm, I would encourage you to do so this year, in memory of George A.


Always Working for You, 
Gina C. Lynn
Executive Director 

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