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Bill Morin has driven to his neighborhood Cub Food store in St. Anthony for the past three-and-a-half years to buy a single yellow rose to place on the marker of his deceased wife, Jean. Greeting him each Friday morning is floral saleswoman Kristina Moore, who makes sure that yellow roses are available for him to purchase.

Jim Gehrz, Star Tribune

Bill Morin has driven to his neighborhood Cub Food store in St. Anthony for the past three-and-a-half years to buy a single yellow rose to place on the marker of his deceased wife, Jean. Greeting him each Friday morning is floral saleswoman Kristina Moore, who makes sure that yellow roses are available for him to purchase.

Jim Gehrz, Star Tribune

Kristina & Bill: A friendship blossoms

  • Article by: Gail Rosenblum
  • Star Tribune
  • January 31, 2012 - 12:49 PM

It took Kristina Moore several weeks to track the pattern in how customer Bill Morin shopped her floral department. Bill, 86, arrived at 9 a.m. every Friday at the Cub Foods in St. Anthony, searching for one item only: a single yellow rose, on the cusp of opening. Week after week.

One day, though, there were no yellow roses. A worried Bill explained to Kristina, the floral department manager, that he bought the roses to place on the grave of his wife, Jean. Yellow ones were her favorite.

They were married for 62 years and raised two sons, before Jean died in 2004. After all those yellow roses on birthdays and anniversaries, Bill wasn't about to stop now. Kristina understood. For 3 1/2 years, Kristina, 43, has special-ordered yellow roses every Thursday, for Friday arrival when Bill comes in and picks out his favorite. She ties it with a thin yellow ribbon and places it in the cooler -- Bill's rose. He returns on Saturday, after the rose has opened just so, and heads to the cemetery.

One blustery winter's day, Bill picked up his rose, but feared leaving it to be whipped about by the elements. "Put it in a vase on your kitchen table, Bill," Kristina suggested, "and you'll remember." "That worked just great," Bill said.

The former meatcutter with Red Owl enjoys talking business with Kristina, but that's not why he comes. "She shortens my day," Bill says. "I get kind of discouraged, you know? Kristina takes the time, for a $2 flower. This gal does more for my day than anyone else."

DO YOU KNOW A SPECIAL DUO?

"Duets" is an occasional feature that celebrates unique or surprising relationships between two people. Send ideas to: grosenblum@startribune.com or call 612-673-7350. Please put "Duets" in the subject line.

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