What an honor our family received last week from the Prince George’s County Council. I really was not sure what to expect when Council Member Dernoga’s office invited my family to receive a Proclamation. I just figured we would go to his office in Upper Marlboro and he would give us a plaque and thank the Behnke Family.
Yes, we did get a beautiful plaque. But even more so were the words written on it. Standing there with my cousin Jeanne Behnke-Byrnes, her husband Jim and her mother, my Aunt Ele Behnke (Roland Behnke’s wife) we listened while Council Member Tom Dernoga read the words about my grandparents. While he talked about wanting to recognize their ‘Exemplary Public Service’ I had a hard time focusing on what was being said. I kept thinking of “growing up Behnke” as I called it.
What a childhood we had. Imagine having the whole run of the nursery to play and get into mischief. Looking out at everyone nodding their heads as the proclamation was read out loud, I wondered who out there shopped with us. Who worked for us or knew someone who did. They all seemed to know our family and were smiling. As I said before, I am genuinely humbled by the outpouring of the kind wishes from everyone.
Any of you that were lucky enough to have known Albert and Rose Behnke knew that they loved our Beltsville community along with Maryland and America. Giving back was always first and foremost in their values. They were so grateful for all the opportunities given to them as young immigrants. So thank you again Prince George’s County for recognizing them in this way. I know that they are smiling from above, but my grandfather, Albert, is more than likely saying, “It’s time to get back to work.”
You, our amazing customers and our loyal staff are what made Behnke’s what it became over 89 years of providing all your gardening needs. For many, it became a family and a beautiful place to just be. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
And just a little heads up to everyone, if you are ever invited to appear at the Prince Georges County Council ~ Dress up, not down. Don’t show up as I did in flip flops and pedal pushers. Whatever was I thinking?
Check here for a video of Proclamation presented to Stephanie Fleming, Behnke Nursery, in recognition of their “Exemplary Public Service” in Prince George’s County. (Council Member Thomas E. Dernoga and Council Chair Todd M. Turner)
Behnke Nurseries, VP