SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Ella Bensen's Maple tree is gone
By MJ Cadle


November 10, 2008
Monday AM

Sadly, the lights have been permanently darkened on Ella Bensen's maple tree.

Friday night a big, white truck drove (not backed) into our yard at the bottom of Forest Park and destroyed our beautiful Japanese laceleaf maple, tearing the tree off at its base and mangling the branches. The driver of the truck then drove up Forest Park Drive and through another yard (causing damage there as well) stopping only long enough to pull the evidence - now dark Christmas lights, off the truck. The truck then stopped at a home in Forest Park. By the time the Troopers arrived, there was no one in the truck and the owner of the truck denied being the driver and said he didn't know who had been driving the truck. Interestingly he did not report the truck stolen to the Trooper. I came home only minutes later to find the destruction.

I and the Troopers know what happened and which truck did it thanks to some very good citizens who saw the truck drive into the yard and turned from their drive to follow the truck to its home, getting the license number in the process. Sadly, they were not able to identify the driver so the Troopers were not able to arrest anyone for the wanton destruction of two yards. I don't know whether the driver was intoxicated or if they intentionally caused the damage out of some sick anger (they turned perpendicular to the highway and drove front end first over large rocks to get to and run completely over a 3ft tall, 4ft around highly visible, light covered tree that was right next to an empty driveway) and I don't know which is worse; either way the driver is a threat to others so please, if anyone can identify the driver of the truck, call the Troopers. (or you can call me at 225-7050)

I am grateful there were no reports the truck caused any bodily harm before it came to its final stop Friday night but I am heartbroken about the tree. The tree was more than just my favorite feature about this house. It brought enjoyment to so many people. I cannot count how many times someone stopped me to tell me how much they enjoyed the beautiful tree as it progressed through its spring green, deep summer red and bright fall red into its winter coat of Christmas lights. Or how many times someone thanked me for the Christmas lights that brightened an otherwise dark corner: lights that went up early and were left long after Christmas for all those who enjoyed them.

I don't know much of the history of the tree, only that it was planted by Ella Benson, the well loved original owner of what is now my home. Judging by its size, it was planted long ago and tended with much love. I do know because so many long-time Ketchikan residents have told me so, that it has been bringing enjoyment to many, many people over the years. Thank you Ella Benson for the tree.

I would like to keep Ella's tree alive if possible. If you would like to try a start from it, please call me at 225-7050.

MJ Cadle
Ketchikan, AK

Received November 09, 2008 - Published November 10, 2008



Viewpoints - Opinion Letters:

letter Webmail Your Opinion Letter to the Editor



Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.


E-mail your letters & opinions to
Your full name, city and state are required for publication.

SitNews ©2008
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska