PORT HARDY—A local small-business owner says she just wanted to do her part to beautify the town. But a mystery vandal left a dark cloud over her efforts last week when he dumped a pair of flower boxes into her parking lot and stomped the plants before driving off.
“I’m heartbroken looking at this,” Laurie Gergely said as she cleaned up the mess in front of her small nursery, Get Growing. “I’m an avid gardener and this is personal to me. But I grew this for the benefit of Port Hardy, not just for me.”
The incident occurred between 8 and 8:30 a.m. Sept. 26, before Gergely had arrived to open her shop. It was witnessed by a person just up Market Street from the shop, and Port Hardy RCMP was called.
“(The witness) said it was a man between 25 and 35 (years old),” Gergely said. “She said it seemed like he was just in a blind rage.”
The witness told Gergely that, after throwing the boxes into the parking lot and kicking them, he jumped into a black pickup with a white camper top and drove away.
“I can’t think of who would want to do this,” Gergely said. “Other than the kids I get after for skateboarding, I have no idea who I might have upset. I’ve been racking my brain.”
Gergely opened the small business, in the mall adjacent to Smyth’s Tru Hardware in April. She admitted she got off to a late start with her planting, and the gladiolas she had in the boxes were just beginning to bloom.
“I just wanted to help make the downtown look a little bit nicer,” she said.