Friday, December 2, 2011

I Know That Tree!

Fred Wise's story "A Lonely Little Christmas Tree" debuts on the stage at Licking County Players tonight. It's a must-see, family theater event.

And anyone who has regularly driven the stretch of US Route 30 between Mansfield and Wooster will be extra amused. The tree that inspired Wise's story is a memorable, real one in the median strip along US 30. The fact that someone would decorate this isolated tree every year is a bit of folklore in its own right.

I used to see that tree in the mid '80's going back and forth to college from my hometown. I remember the amusement of seeing the decorated tree at Christmas time.

Fred did the fictional story behind the real story justice. Check it out.

UPDATE:  I posted this blog on my Facebook page and found the real story behind the real story.  Imagine that!

Turns out the mother of one of my Facebook friends started the tradtion!  This friend grew up just three doors down from me in Massillon, Ohio.  Her family owned the local Oldsmobile dealership for decades.

Here's the story.

Mrs. R. traveled from Massillon to Columbus to visit her mother.  She saw that "tiny Charlie Brown tree" and decided to decorate it one year.  Her son carried on the family tradition as he would make weekly trips to Columbus from Massillon to buy cars at the auto auction. 

Their family tradition became a Northeast Ohio legend and, now, a play based on a tree that learned the true meaning of Christmas!

What a small world.

The play runs through December 4, 2011 with a 3 p.m. matinee.  Don't miss it!

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