Neighbors re-light North Hudson Christmas treeFriends and neighbors of Larry Quale came together on a Saturday earlier this month to re-light the 55-foot spruce tree in his front lawn at 612 Wisconsin St. No.
By: Randy Hanson, Hudson Star-Observer
Friends and neighbors of Larry Quale came together on a Saturday earlier this month to re-light the 55-foot spruce tree in his front lawn at 612 Wisconsin St. No.
The tree had brightened the North Hudson neighborhood for 25 Christmas seasons until a couple of years ago when Quale, weakened by chemotherapy treatments for pancreatic cancer, was no longer able keep the lights in working order.
This year, neighbor Laura Davis said it was time to return the tree to its Christmas splendor.
“I just thought, you know, if Larry’s not feeling well, why look out the window and say, hum, I sure wish that tree could be lit?” Davis said.
With Quale’s permission, she and her husband, Roger, rented a hydraulic lift and rounded up a crew of friends, neighbors and former neighbors to string new multi-color LED lights.
After a halting first hour of learning to operate the lift, the project was completed over the next three hours on Saturday, Dec. 10. Quale supervised the work.
The official lighting took place during a magical snowfall at 6 o’clock that evening.
“It was a wonderful day,” Quale’s wife, Karlene recalled. “It was truly a sign of Christmas spirit. We’ve had wonderful neighbors. Honestly.”
And, she said, it was an indication of the community’s love for the Larry’s Christmas tree.
“This tree may rest on our property, but it truly is a community tree,” Karlene said.
The Quales have had people stop by to tell them how much they appreciate the lighted tree. One woman even gave them money to help pay the extra $100 to $125 a month for electricity it took to keep the tree lit.
Larry Quale, a North Hudson native, said they transplanted the tree from his parents’ lawn on Lemon Street North when the tree was about 15 feet tall. He started putting Christmas lights on it in the late 1980s, when it was about 20 feet tall.
He started doing the work with a ladder, but eventually had to rent a hydraulic lift.
The new lights should last for a few years, Quale said. He plans to leave them in place year-round.
It took 13 stands of lights, each 50 to 65 feet long, to cover the tree. There are a total of 2,600 lights on the tree.
The Quales have resided at their Wisconsin Street home for 38 years. Larry retired this week after a long career as a millwright for 3M Co. in St. Paul.
“I just think it’s neat that Larry let us light the tree again. He is a fabulous man,” Laura Davis said recently. Her voice choked with emotion and her eyes grew watery as she spoke.
“People need to hear that love and community is still alive and well in our world,” Karlene Quale said.