Jenni Minnis was in 8th grade when John Lennon was shot and killed on Dec. 8, 1980, but she admits she doesn't remember too much of the assassination itself.
What she does remember and continues to cherish is that in that same year, her grandparents Robert and Zelma Natchsheim bought their one and only living Christmas tree for their farm just off of Veazie-Cumberland Road S.E. and planted it in Lennon's memory.
"After he was shot, they bought it knowing they’d plant it," Minnis said. "Everybody loves The Beatles."
But what never sat well with Minnis was they never decorated it. "It's been out there and I've always wanted to decorate it. The last time it was decorated was 32 years ago when they brought it home."
That changed this year when Minnis, who now lives on the farm, rented a boom lift to string up blue and white lights on the noble fir. In 32 years, the little potted tree grew to be 45 feet tall. She knows its height because that's the maximum the lift reached when she strung her Christmas lights this year.
With the dual-colored blue and white lights, "It's awesome to look at from Veazie," she said. Drivers don't need to pull into a driveway - the tree is clearly visible from the road.
Neighbors and walkers passing by have asked Minnis about the tree, and when she shared this was the 'John Lennon Tree,' they encouraged her to put a sign up to share its sigificance with other passers by. Minnis' signs should be ready for display on 278th Way S.E. for Saturday, which marks 32 years since Lennon's death.
"It’s just a cool thing to honor," Minnis said. "John Lennon had great music and it's a cool thing to look at that and see how those 32 years can go by so fast."
Best View: The tree is seen clearly from Veazie-Cumberland Road S.E. though the farm's entrance is located on 40228 278th Way S.E.
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