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Our View: Virginia, there’s no Christmas tree

Posted: November 18, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: November 18, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Jim Junette, U.S. Forestry Department tree manager, cleans the viewing window on the trailer.

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In case you missed it, the 2011 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree made a four-hour stop in at the Saugus Speedway last Saturday.

The much-publicized event was centered on the 65-foot gem of a pine tree from a Northern California national park arriving on a big-rig truck for Santa Clarita Valley residents to marvel at and take pictures.

Not widely publicized was the fact that the gorgeous tree was to stay on the truck and would only be seen through two 4-by-8-foot plexiglass windows on either side of the truck’s trailer.

Yes, the very tall, very pretty tree was only visible through a pair of smallish windows and remained on its side in specially built tree stands for its cross-country adventure.

We thought that celebrating the event was best done through the majesty of poetry.

’Twas six weeks till Christmas, and on top of a truck
Was a great, big tree, but there it stayed — stuck.
The locals came out for a promise of green
But what they got was a pretty lackluster scene.

For weeks they were told of the splendor to behold
And out they came, braving the rain and the cold.
They brought their cameras and brought their children
But on that truck, the great tree stayed hidden.

The visitors were given a great banner to sign
And behind thick plexiglass lied the great pine.
Around corporate logos, the messages were written
The children made crafts and were overall smitten.

It was, without a doubt, a joyous event
Showings of patriotism on the banner were sent.
Though the locals in the rain were still full of smiles
They didn’t quite get the tree that’d traveled those miles.

On big rig, on plywood, on artificial snow
On a stand, on its side, the great tree was shown.
The locals stuck their faces against the plexiglass wall
Rearranging, squinting — kind of disappointing all.

All those in attendance let out sighs into the air
And in their photos was an unflattering glare.
A tree on a truck just lacks Christmas magic
The high expectations made the scene feel tragic.

Call us crazy, but when there’s promise of a tree
We’d expect that it would be displayed to see.
The locals came out for the promise of green
But on its side and behind plexiglass was the scene.

But this is just the take from the Editorial Board
And we hope we didn’t strike a harsh chord.
Now it’s time to wrap this up, and with good reason
And we hope you all have a great holiday season.

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