EQUAL SCANDAL FOR LOCAL NURSERY
last month when she apparently tripped and was impaled on
a pair of hedge clippers. Gates was found two weeks ago by
Connelly when he came in to open the shop. She had drowned
in a birdbath.
Both deaths have been ruled accidental by Coronor
While rumors and speculation have been racing
through the community, no one blames owners Lyle and Daisy
Pershing for their string of bad luck with employees. While
neither chose to comment for this story, Connelly was passionate
in his defense.
"Lyle and Daisy are the most decent people
I know, and in this town, that's saying something. Anyone
who knows them knows they feel a lot more responsible than
they are. They're really broken up about Linda and Becky.
We all are."
When asked about his former co-workers, Pershing
employee Bob Halprin said merely that accidents will happen.
"We work with a lot of dangerous things.
Any of us could go anytime. I just hope nothing like this
Stephanie Greene, another Pershing employee,
had this to say:
"If those girls had been paying attention,
this wouldn't have happened. They were careless, and more
worried about their boyfriends and their fancy clothes than
their jobs. I'm not saying it was all their faults, but they
could have been a lot more careful. I'm just saying."
But what of Pershing Daisy's latest employee,
Jalil Singh? Singh, a native of Bangalore, India, is studying
computer sciences at University of Oregon, Whispering Pines.
When asked if he's worried about working at the nursery, he
"Two fatal accidents in a row is unfortunate,
but three is absurd. Nobody here means anyone harm. I feel
perfectly safe. Lyle and Daisy are wonderful people. If they
will teach me, I will be happy to work here as long as I am
in Whispering Pines. In fact, I would like to work here as
long as I live."
A Deadly Trend
by Claire Olney
You wouldn't know it to look at the place,
but Pershing Daisies has developed a bad reputation among
University of Oregon students.
"Everybody knows it's not a good place
to apply for work," says History major Elizabeth Aimes.
"Especially if you're from out of town."
"Let's just say I'd rather do almost anything
else," says Freshman Tim Hawkes. "I want to make
it to graduation."
What is the reason for this attitude? Two unexplained
deaths. In both cases, the victims were University of Oregon
students, both were from other communities, neither had been
in town long, and both were attractive young women.
Linda Fowler, 19, was the first victim. The
vivacious Theater Arts major hailed originally from Boise,
Idaho, and was well liked by those who knew her. Despite a
slight reputation as a party girl, she was working her way
through college with two jobs. In addition to her duties tending
the plants and taking the money at Pershing Daisies, she also
waited tables at Waffle Wagon, a local restaurant popular
with both locals and students.
"She was great," says regular Waffle
Wagon customer Ed Finney. "Never once got my order wrong,
always seemed to be there with the coffee pot just when I
needed a refill. I'll miss her."
Pershing Daisies co-worker Brad Connelly also
thought highly of Linda.
"I didn't get to know her well,
but she was always nice to everyone. She'd show up on time,
ready to work, and enthusiastic. In fact, the only thing about
her that wasn't perfect for this place is that she hadn't
done much work with plants before. The day before...well,
before...she was repotting an orchid and she dropped it. I
can't help wondering if that was a sign. The orchid died,
and so did she. I liked her."
The second victim, Becky Gates, was a twenty-two
year old about to enter the graduate program in English at
University of Oregon. She'd moved to Whispering Pines to be
close to her boyfriend, Adam Banks, who is studying for his
"Becky was the sweetest person I've ever
known," he said in a recent interview. "She was
quiet, but anyone who got to know her can tell you she was
smart, funny, and just about the best person you could ever
Gates and Banks shared an apartment and had
Connelly had this to say of Banks:
"She was really quiet. She only worked
here a couple days, so I didn't get the chance to talk to
her much or get to know her. She was good with the customers,
though, and a hard worker. I feel a little bad, because the
last thing I ever said to her was to stop overwatering the
succulents. She didn't have a lot of experience, but she had
enough interest in plants that she would have learned quickly,
given the chance."