GREENVILLE — Dave Plessinger will be one of the units leading Saturday’s Annie Oakley Festival parade as parade marshal.
Owner of Plessinger Brothers Florist of Greenville, David said he has never been asked to do anything like that before.
“I’ll enjoy it, but I’m not much of a parade-watcher,” he said. “My wife [the former Alberta Hayes] won’t be able to participate. She was in an accident a month ago and is undergoing rehabilitation.”
Plessinger said he has been contributing to the festival for a long time and makes corsages for the Annie Oakley shooting contestants.
Hannah Linebaugh, a member of the Annie Oakley Festival Committee, sent the Plessingers a letter announcing they have been selected to serve as parade marshals.
“Over the years, you have contributed so much to the Annie Oakley Festival, donating the flower for both the Miss Annie Oakley shooting contest winners and the wreath for the pilgrimage to Annie’s graveside that kicks off each new festival,” the letter read. “When I realize the pilgrimage was not going to continue in 2011, I decided to handle it myself, the only problem being I had three days to put it together. When I sheepishly approached your counter that year to ask if you would donate a wreath on such late notice, I was so humbled when David hardly let me get the request out of my mouth before he said, ‘Sure we can do that,’ and began quizzing me on exactly what I wanted it to look like. The next year when I had more time to prepare, I barely introduced myself and mentioned the pilgrimage before he asked, ‘When do you need it?’ Again, I felt so humbled by your generosity . Every year the wreaths seem to grow more and more beautiful. I’m sure they can’t look any better than the year before, but they do.”
She went on, “You have been such avid supporters of the Annie Oakley Festival over the years, and we would like to honor that commitment. We were overjoyed to announce that the parade will be back for our 2015 season and we would like you both to act as parade marshals for 2015. We would love to show the community what you do as a local business to support our local heritage.”
The Plessingers celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary on May 6. He is a 1958 graduate of Versailles High School, and she a 1962 graduate of Greenville High School.
“I was born at Wayne Hospital [across the street from his floral business on Sweitzer Street in Greenville] when we lived here and then my parents moved to Versailles three or four years later. When I was nine, we moved to the home place on Shaffer and Plessinger roads.”
It was his paternal grandparents, George Harmon and Mamie Plessinger, Dave’s father, Lloyd, and Lloyd’s brother [the late] Carl, who purchased the floral business in 1935.
“We had eight greenhouses at one time,” said Dave. “They were getting old and it was a maintenance factor. Drs. Brubaker and Steinbrecher approached me about the property and I sold it to them. They built the building to the south of us in the mid-1970s and we did away with the greenhouses and moved in here and just retailed.”
He went on, “At one time, we had lots of plants, raised and cut flowers and sold vegetables and bedding plants.”
That part of the business is no longer available to customers. Yet, the business is doing a booming retail business.
“I’m still doing it at 75,” he said, adding in jest, “I call myself a blooming idiot. If anybody does anything for over 50 years, there’s something wrong with them.”
He said he also never saw any reason to change the name of the business.
“When I’m gone, it will probably be done,” he said.
Dave worked 28 years at Hobart Corp. from 1968-96 when it “up and left.”
“So, I retired,” he said. “I worked in here the whole time. I worked second shift at Hobart’s and here the other times.”
The Plessingers met through mutual friends and are now parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.
The couple are residents of Wayne Lakes, but don’t do much with flowers and such there.
“We live on a hillside and it’s gravel,” he said. “We have lots of shade…too much.”
In his spare time, of which he has little, Dave likes to go mushroom hunting, walk his dog and has been known to fish in the lake in his backyard.
The parade will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday in Greenville. It will stage at the Darke County Fairgrounds.
Those planning to participants in the parade should enter the fairgrounds that morning through Gate #1.
“You will be directed by one of the many volunteers, as to where you need to proceed to lineup,” said organizers. “Annie Oakley Committee member volunteers as well as other volunteers, will be at the fairgrounds very early (7:30 a.m. to start the staging process. Please arrive plenty early with all of your contract information… especially your unit number card assigned to you. It takes a significant amount of time to stage a parade, so your cooperation is extremely important.”
With that number, people may not be permitted to enter the parade staging area. All participants will need to be at their staging area and ready to go by 8:30 a.m. The parade will leave the fairgrounds at approximately 9:30, using Gate #2. It will then proceed to the circle in downtown Greenville, where it will end three-fourths around the traffic circle on West Main Street.
Anyone who needs to go back to the fairgrounds will use West Main to Martz Street and entering back into the fairgrounds using Gate #3.
All bands are to be dropped off at the fairgrounds by their bus, and the bus is asked to leave and park at the Greenville Junior High parking lot (Armstrong and Central). This is the designated area for the bands to go after the parade to meet with their bus. Bands are expected to march the entire parade route. Everyone else will proceed back to the fairgrounds, unless previous arrangements have been made with the Annie Oakley Parade Committee.