, Gloucester, MA

Breaking News

Latest Cape Ann News

December 28, 2012

'Living Tree' shines in Lanesville

The evergreen tree at 47 Langsford St. in Lanesville started its life at 41/2 feet tall, tucked inside on the porch at the home of Billy and Jane Martin during Christmas in 1975.

The tree was then planted outside and decorated.

Now, fast forward to December 2012, and this “living tree,” as the family calls it, now stands over 40 feet tall outside the home and is dramatically lit each year, with a star at the top.

Neighbors started noticing. And as the tradition continued, Greg Verga, Billy Martin’s son-in-law, noted that, “the neighbors look forward to the lighting every year and cars driving along this busy street stop for a look, as well.”

Martin knows his neighbors really enjoy it, “so I try to keep doing it every year,” he says.

As the tree grew, it also became more meaningful. Verga said Martin has told people about how a photo of the tree meant so much to one neighbor that it was included in her mother’s casket when she passed away — and of how, during one very windy Christmas, when most of the tree’s ornaments blew away, neighbors who found them “scooped them up and dropped them off.”

In 1976, only one set of lights was needed to decorate the tree. Now, over 20 sets of lights are needed.

“Here we are, 37 years later using over 20 sets of lights and needing more,” Billy Martin says.

For the last several years, Nick Curcuru, a former student of Martin’s from the Gloucester High School Electrical Shop, has volunteered to help decorate the tree. Curcuru, 25, took every class that Martin, also an electrician for over 43 years, taught at GHS, and went on to become a journeyman electrician himself, studying for his masters license, and has a bucket truck he can bring to help hang the lights ever higher.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest Cape Ann News

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
Comments Tracker
AP Video Network
House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways