Over this past weekend — a weekend when many Americans decided it was time to either hit up a pop-up Christmas tree shop in a supermarket parking lot, venture out to a cut-your-own tree farm, or haul a faux tree originating from a Chinese factory down from the attic — The L.A. Times published a brief but beautiful article by Sam Watters on the subject of a different kind of Christmas tree and Carl Curtis, an Angeleno who, in 1943, brightened his home with a DIY tree that was “biodegradable, consumed no water and required little space.”
Christmas decoration and gasoline in short supply, Carl Curtis picked up branches in backyards and along back roads in L.A. At their modest ranch house, paneled with knotty pine, he and his wife attached a board to the living room wall. They nailed boughs to the plank, long branches at the bottom, short at the top. A string of lights, some colored balls and metal tinsel, easily stored in the attic closet, completed the half-a-tree vignette.
Today, foreign threats, the role of taxes and the importance of education are topics that challenge us again, just when we need agreement on how to rebalance our way of life to compete against global powers and preserve the world that Carl Curtis assumed was his. Unlike the past, the costs of our wars aren't experienced day to day, but they are lurking in national debt and shrinking supplies of natural resources. As it was in December '43, sacrifice and know-how are required.
Via [L.A. Times]
Image: L.A. At Home Blog