Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Yoshimi Shibata: 100 Years of Flower Growing

Shimi Shibata celebrates his 100th

Two weekends ago, I accompanied my mother, Uncle Ted, Auntie Heidi and Cousin Barbara to celebrate Shimi Shibata’s 100th birthday celebration in Palo Alto. 

Yoshimi Shibata, Uncle Ted and Grace Shibata

For those who don’t know Shimi, he was the President of Mt Eden Nursery and Mt Eden Wholesale Florist

Shimi has accomplishments that are too long to list, but it is not an exaggeration to say that the Northern California flower business flourished because of his support of immigrant flower growers, and developing the technology to ship flowers across the country.  

Rob and Alex Shibata (Shimi's son and grandson)

Andy, Mrs. Matsui, Uncle Ted and Jun Uchida

Much of the Kitayama Brothers’ success was the result of their relationship with Shimi and his family.  My father Ray came to Northern California after WW II ended because he heard the Shibatas were hiring Japanese-Americans, not everybody was so willing after WWII.  Shimi shared his knowledge and wisdom with my father and uncles who used this experience to open their own nursery.

Over the years, we may have been competitors but there was always the respect and knowledge of how much Shimi helped our family.  

On his 100th we all offer Shimi our thanks and continued health.

Mike Suyeuyasu and Brad Beck

George Nishimura and Jack and Mrs. Van Namenlin

The Garcia Family came all the way from Atlanta!


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