Family ficus tree focus of love story, contest
YORK — Back then, it was no big thing.
Boy meets girl; girl likes boy; boy asks her for her hand. They kiss.
And they raise their ficus tree together.
OK, the ending is a bit different.
But then so, too, is the 7-foot-tall ficus tree tucked away in a storeroom at Re-Source York on Ninth Avenue in North York. It sits on a wheeled skid in an inch-and-half-thick clay pot, about midway between the cans of used roofing nails and a row of toilets. It sheds a little on the concrete floor.
It looks sad.
Bill Albritton, assistant manager at the home supply store, said he and an employee were in charge of the pickup, about a month ago. The tree came in with a wardrobe and some spare lumber from a home in Spring Garden Township.
The couple explained the ficus just wouldn't fit in their U-Haul.
“They seemed pretty broken up,” Albritton recalled.
That's likely because the tree was theirs for more than 30 years. The couple — Janis and Stuart Jesse — married in Texas in 1978, according to their son, Skylar Jesse.
The tree was there at the church, traveled with the family to Tennessee and then to the York area, said Skylar Jesse, who lives near Harrisburg.
“It's been following me around since I was a kid,” the 25-year-old said.
And it kept getting bigger.
So the family reluctantly left it behind in York County, he said.
But the seeds of a plan were soon sown.
Averie Clark, spokeswoman with Bell Socialization Services, said on Thursday that Re-Source York will hold a contest.
Officials are seeking love story submissions of 50 to 100 words, with the chosen winner to receive the “tree of love.”
“Just make sure you have a place to put it,” she joked.
Albritton said, unfortunately, the ficus can't stay where it is.
This place is no good for it, he said, cataloging a pair of plastic pipes and a metal washer. The tree needs sunlight, he said, and room to grow. Maybe even love.
“We just don't have a market for it,” he explained.
But Janis Jesse has hope.
Reached at her new home in Tennessee, Jesse said that ficus tree was paid for by her parents, and was in the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church one steamy July day in 1978, for a wedding in Wink, Texas. Wink is in the middle of the desert, she explained, and the tree added a spark of life.
All these years later, it was hard to leave it behind.
“But it was the right decision, I think,” she said.
Jesse said her ficus can be a bit temperamental. For instance, it tends to drop its leaves when it's moved, she said. And sure, it's just a tree.
But watching those little leaves appear again, that's really something, Jesse said. Life changes, and the ficus tree adjusts.
“It just grows,” she said. “And we grow.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Veteran designation on Pennsylvania driver’s licenses loosely audited
- Pa. trooper wounded in barracks ambush hopes to return to force
- Impact of Ohio’s moves to reduce Lake Erie algae years away
- Trooper severely injured when hit by own car
- Police: Some pictured on Penn State frat sites come forward
- Pa. police officer charged with homicide for shooting unarmed man in back
- Authorities investigate racist letter to Pa. state police pick Brown
- Four veterinarians charged for doping race horses at Penn National
- Mother, grandparents of starved boy sentenced to prison
- Man, 82, dies in Lawrence County house fire