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Farmer gets free flowers for donning a dress
Schemper’s ACE Hardware manger Bud Schemper and almond farmer Ted Viss got their laughs out of last week’s Ladies’ free flower day. Viss was told he could have a tray of flowers unless he went home and put a dress on – that’s exactly what he did. - photo by Photo by Sharla Radic
RIPON - It wasn’t as much about getting free flowers as it was putting together a good laugh.

Ripon almond farmer Ted Viss is definitely an expert in removing stress – with a dress.

Viss went into Schemper’s ACE Hardware to take advantage of their “Ladies’ Free Flower Day” last week – remembering the girls at the cash register telling him it was only for women.

Viss, a long-time patron of Schemper’s, went to manager Bud Schemper and told him his wife didn’t come into town with him and he wanted to take the small pack of spring flowers home to her.

He quoted Schemper as saying he didn’t want to get into giving the flowers to husbands, but added that if he’d go home and put on a dress it might be a different story.

Viss made a bee-line for his Wagner Road almond orchard and did just that.  He returned a short time later in a bright blue dress, a blonde wig and a healthy smear of lipstick – he got his flowers and everyone in the store got a good laugh.

“They’re good people,” Viss said of the staff at Schemper’s.  He explained that with the down economy everybody needs a good laugh, saying that Bud had put him up to it and he just took his dare.

Schemper said it was the talk of the town after church services on Sunday and many customers had already seen the photograph on their computer emails.