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Rose is a Rose is a Rose _ And So On _ for Wife’s Birthday

October 4, 1996

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ For her birthday, Virginia Cohlmia’s husband gave her roses.

Lots of roses _ 600, to be exact. One dozen for each of her 50 years.

The American Beauty tea roses, bouquet by bouquet, started coming at 7 a.m. and didn’t stop until 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

``He’ll never top this,″ a stunned Mrs. Cohlmia said. ``It’s impossible.″

It was quite a delivery for a man who once told her he would never send her flowers again after she turned down his first invitation for a date.

``The next day I sent her a dozen roses, but she still wouldn’t go out with me,″ Charlie Cohlmia recalled. ``The day after that I sent her a bouquet with a bird of paradise in it, and the card I enclosed said, `May the Bird of Paradise Fly ... See if I ever send you flowers again.′ ″

That did it. The night of their first date was Mrs. Cohlmia’s 20th birthday. And as a reminder, the 50th bouquet sent Thursday included bird of paradise flowers.

Charlie Cohlmia fortunately had the resources for this year’s present. The Cohlmias own a plant nursery and a shop that sells dried flowers.

He had to get a little help for her 40th: That day, she awoke to find a high school marching band playing in the front yard.

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