Johnnie’s Memorial Day Tree (And the Legend of the Wonderful Tree Lady)!

Depending on how long you’ve been hanging out with us, you may not be aware of this year round tree thing that goes on at our house.  I (Steve) don’t remember exactly when it started.  Although, even in the days after we first got married, it wasn’t that unusual for us to leave our Christmas tree up significantly longer than the holiday called for.  I think we used our nocturnal schedule and constant sleep-deprived state as a partial excuse but, the truth was, we just liked having a decorated tree to brighten our days, particularly on days that may not have been so bright.

Those were the days when we had a real tree and, like many of you, we made an event out of going to find the perfect tree.  And we always did.  Well, there was that one year when we got a tree that acted like it was made of rubber.  Of course, it had to wait until we’d spent hours decorating it to begin its bobbing and weaving routine.  It may have even bounced a bit when, after spending hours removing the decorations, we opened the window and threw it out.

It was probably not long after the rubber tree incident that we decided that we might be tempting fate by leaving a live tree up as long as was our norm.  We’d never had a tree catch on fire and wanted to keep it that way.  So, after a long search to find the perfect tree that didn’t need to be watered and wouldn’t shed, we made the switch.

By the way, has anyone else found that “wouldn’t shed” part of the equation not to always be true?  We’re constantly surprised at the trail we leave behind each year when we bring the Christmas tree up from the basement.  Well, we did want one that was as close to real as possible.

But, that’s the Christmas tree and this post is about the Memorial Day tree … and others.

See, we didn’t just have one Christmas tree.  There was the tree in our living room and the tree on the landing and the little tree in the kitchen and the little tree on the downstairs landing and the tree downstairs at Johnnie’s parents house and most of them were being decorated by the wonderful tree lady I’m married to.

So, somewhere along the way, probably after we moved into the Chicago area house we now own, after we took down our living room Christmas tree and I was expecting to begin helping Johnnie dismantle the tree on the landing, I was surprised to see the Christmas motif on that tree had been replaced by other decorations.  That first year, I believe, it was for St. Patrick’s Day.

I loved it, Johnnie’s Dad and Mom love it, our friends love it  and, after hearing how much we all enjoyed her creation, and seeing that her magical spell had worked on all of us, the tree lady smiled and thought to herself, “Hmm, I might be on to something here.”  And so began, what has turned into, a year round celebration of whatever season or event seems to spark the tree lady’s muse.

We occasionally talked about the trees on the air and some wonderful listeners have been nice enough to send us some hand made ornaments that are part of the tree decorations.

We’ve shared some of the tree lady’s creations on our other social media sites but they haven’t found their way into this blog before.  So, with all of the preamble and the “Legend Of The Tree Lady” behind us, may we present the Memorial Day tree.

Memorial Day Tree

As I said earlier “we just liked having a decorated tree to brighten our days, particularly on days that may not have been so bright.”  Many of the days we’re all going through right now easily fit in to that “not so bright” category.  So, we hope sharing a bit of the tree lady’s magic in this forum serves to brighten your day a bit.

But now, boys and girls, before we leave you, although she flies around so fast, it’s hard to capture her on film … or pixels … here’s a rare photo of the tree lady and her little friend, LiBear-ty.

The Wonderful Tree Lady & her little friend, LiBear-ty.

Now, remember boys and girls, if you’re good, stay safe and wash your hands, you may see more of The Wonderful Tree Lady’s adventures in future posts.


About steveandjohnnie

Award winning Chicago Broadcasters, inducted into WGN radio's Walk Of Fame. Authors of the Les Paul memoir, "A Little More Les." You'll find even more about us at
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4 Responses to Johnnie’s Memorial Day Tree (And the Legend of the Wonderful Tree Lady)!

  1. Sue stsrk says:

    I remember listening to you talk about the year round tree and always thought it was a wonderful idea
    Thank you for sharing the story and pictures

  2. D'Ann Hamilton-White says:

    Your story and photos do brighten the day. Thank you! [How do you find the time to do all that plus all the other wonderful things that you accomplish?]

    • Thank you for your kind words! Probably the best way to answer your question is to say that we are now operating on a “Someday” schedule. You know how people always say “Someday I’m going to …” Well, “Someday” is here and we have the luxury of doing things we want to do when we want to do them. But, honestly, when we gave up our commitment to the demands of a daily/nightly radio show, we never thought we’d find ourselves as busy as we are. The good thing is, when we just want to stop and smell the roses, we do.

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