Volunteers brave cold to trim a tree Logo Park pine decorated GLEN BURNIE

December 09, 1992|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writer

It took two dozen volunteers with frozen noses and toes nearly two hours in Saturday's cold and wind to do it, but they got the old pine tree at Logo Park trimmed for the holidays, without the help of county crews and with new lights.

County officials, who decided they could no longer afford the luxury of paying government employees to string colored lights on the 20-foot tall tree, gave the Glen Burnie Improvement Association the old lights.

GBIA members and the Glen Burnie Volunteer Fire Company had offered to trim the tree at Ritchie Highway and Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard this year when the county government backed out.

But when the fire company tested the lights Saturday morning, the strings blew. The civic group, with volunteers ready to work, spent $100 on new strings and bulbs -- which, GBIA president Muriel Carter said, will not be given to the county when the lights come down.

The tree is to be lighted at 6:45 p.m. today in a ceremony to include caroling and a visit from Santa Claus.

Despite Saturday's chill, a caravan of cars and one rescue van pulled into the parking lot behind the tree shortly after 10 a.m. to disgorge a crew of volunteers who went to work on the tree.

Minutes later, Barbara Moeller told Ed DeGrange to use a little aesthetic judgment and something other than orange light bulbs in the string he was holding. Crouched on the ground, a hatless Ami Brunetti, who was helping her mother, Debbie, complained bitterly that she is not a cold-weather person.

Meanwhile, the treetop flapped in the wind and firefighters teased each other about who would climb the ladder resting on (( the tree to wire the star to the top.

"The fire chief would never climb up -- especially a fat chief on a skinny tree," announced Tom Nevin Jr., chief of the volunteer company.

He sent his son up the ladder. "We'll catch you," he said.

Tom Nevin III hollered at Kevin Hartlove and Paul Cogswell to steady the ladder as he hung onto the treetop, clutching the star in one hand and a length of wire in the other.

Meanwhile, several people on the ground shouted directions to position the star so the white bulbs face Ritchie Highway.

A chorus line of firefighters walked the lights around the tree. They nearly knocked Mr. Nevin off the ladder and almost wound another ladder, and the person sitting on it, into the display as others directed the operation.

By then, the number of volunteers was dwindling. Some took refuge in the rescue van. Joyce Little and Mrs. Carter took to Mrs. Carter's car.

When the coffee arrived, several people said they could not decide if they should drink it or dunk their numb fingers into it.

Volunteers plugged the lights into the county's electrical line and congratulated each other.

Mrs. Brunetti walked around the tree. "Why is this side all orange?" she asked as a few people kidded the men who had inserted bulbs into that string. "Hand me a blue one," she ordered her daughter.

Two firefighters took New York hooks, tools designed for ripping out ceilings, to position lights. Several more people cut short strips of wire and others twisted the strings into place.

Other GBIA holiday programs include a home decorating contest, a box for children to drop off their letters to Santa and Santa's Christmas Eve ride through town.

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