SAGA OF THE THULE TREE, 1967

 

This message I received from Dave Reilly tells how Thule got its tallest real tree.

Subject: The TREE!!

Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 22:25:32 -0600

From: "D. Reilly"

 

In July or August 1967, our Flight Engineer was a guy named SSgt. Ralph Lint. I think that at this time he was the only Flight Engineer at Thule. As a result, he was constantly going back and forth to "THE WORLD" on our C-54.

On one trip back from THE WORLD, the plane stopped in Goose Bay for an overnight stay.The next morning, when Ralph went to Base Ops to preflight the plane, there were several trees sitting there on the ramp. When Ralph asked about the trees, he was told that they were going to Sondestrom. So, Ralph decided that Thule ought to have a tree and loaded one on the C-54.

On arrival at Thule, the tree was put in the bottom section of a cut off barrel filled with Thule dirt, such as it is. I had cut the barrel off for a barbecue on July 1, in a snowstorm on the ramp in front of Hanger #9.

We watered the tree, and I think Ralph brought back some fertilizer and maybe some topsoil or potting soil on his next trip to THE WORLD. We brought the tree to the barracks and after attempts by neighbors to move the tree we chained it to the building.

One Saturday morning Ralph and I went out to go to the snack bar and found our tree missing, but the barrel was still there. It was a simple matter to follow the dirt to a neighboring Army barracks where it was found in the Arctic well. We promptly retrieved our tree and returned it to its rightful place in front of our barracks.

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Arctic tree


After the dark season started and the temperatures plummeted, we thought the tree might have a better chance of survival if it was kept in the Arctic well of our barracks. We had plans to decorate it for Christmas but, unfortunately, it died before that time and was unceremoniously disposed of in the proper receptacle.

So, there is the "SAGA OF THE THULE TREE, 1967". In my memory, there was never a girl behind our tree.

[NOTE added 8/19/2014:
I received a message in August 2014 from Ralph Lint (the flight engineer) with some interesting additions to the Thule Saga. Ain't this Internet great!

Incidentally, Dave Reilly, Ralph would like to contact you, and I no longer has your 2001 email with address. Ralph is here: http://www.lintfamily.com/]

 

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