TROY — Tim and Melody Hess are giving their 30 1/2-foot-tall blue spruce one heck of a going away party.
“Fat Albert is going to get a glorious way out,” said Melody on Wednesday evening. She shared how she and her husband nicknamed their blue spruce “Fat Albert” as it flourished to the point of overtaking their driveway in recent years.
“We’re glad to donate. We are looking forward to watching it get decorated,” she said.
The Hess’ tree will make its way to downtown Troy’s Public Square for all to enjoy as the city’s official Christmas tree. Crews cut down the tree from the Hess home on Gardenia Drive early Thursday morning.
The tree will be lit for the first time at the annual Grand Illumination event, sponsored by Troy Main Street, from 5:30-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29 in downtown. The event also will include carriage rides, music, Troy Mayor Mike Beamish’s final reading of “‘Twas the Month Before Christmas,” and Santa arriving on a fire truck.
Melody shared that she contacted the city a few years ago to donate the tree after a friend suggested their beloved blue spruce would make a good centerpiece for the city’s holidays.
Born and raised in Troy, Melody shared how she later returned to her hometown later in life. Her husband Tim is from Tipp City, but said, “I don’t hold that against him.”
Tim retired from Industry Products and then “retired again” from True Value Hardware. Melody is the front desk attendant at Springmeade.
Giving back to the community runs in Melody’s family. Her father, Larry Boyer, built the baseball field on the east side of Troy in what was once known as Floral Park, but was later named Boyer Park in his honor.
Melody said the tree, approximately 25 years old, got “too big for its branches” and began to over take the area near the home’s garage. She shared that they knew “Fat Albert” had to go when she’d back her car out of the garage and the tree branches would scratch the sides of her vehicle.
The Hess’ plan to replant another tree in Fat Albert’s place.
They also plan to enjoy their tree in all its splendor while visiting a friend who has a front row seat to soak up all of downtown Troy’s holiday spirit.
“I have a friend that lives in an apartment above The Caroline and I know she’s looking forward to seeing it on the square, so I’m sure we’ll make it up there to enjoy the view,” she said. “It’s pretty blue to begin with, so the LED lights are going to be beautiful on the blue spruce.”
The Hess’ celebrated in style with coffee and doughnuts to share with neighbors as they watched crews remove the tree from their yard.
“It’s going out in all its glory,” she said. “It’s a beautiful tree — we’re glad to do it.”