Story by Debbi Casini Klein and Reid Carter | Video by Louis D’Aria
Four decades ago, then 40-year-old Mary Savage was working as the community relations director at the Carnegie Library in Homewood when she noticed a safety hazard across the street.
“There was a field, overgrown, all kinds of trees, bushes, weeds. It didn’t appear to be safe,” she said. “The patrons would park there … you never know what’s going to jump out of those weeds.”
Mary took some time to fix up the space and make it more beautiful, and she hasn’t stopped since. Now 82 years young, Mary is known to her community as “the Flower Lady.”
Over the course of the previous decades, Mary has taken responsibility for fixing up and maintaining 17 lots each year. Mary makes an important contribution to Homewood, in part, she said, to help Homewood stand tall amidst high standards set by the neighboring areas.
“We’re trying to make our community look the same as the neighboring communities,” Mary said. “We don’t want to look different…[We want to look] attractive, equal to theirs or better.”
And Mary is succeeding. According to neighbor Rose Patton, Mary has become an integral part of the community — a household name.
“This place would be bleak without her,” Patton said. “I don’t know what we would do.”