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The story to the right is the opening chapter of my "book",
The Christmas Tree Ship II

If you'd like to read the story and see the pictures, please click here and the book will open in a new browser window.

"The Christmas Tree Ship II"
by Lloyd Cook

Chapter One - 
The End?

It is the end, in a one way...and perhaps the beginning, in another way.

This story just presented itself to me, quite by chance... but struck a "chord" deep inside of much so that I felt compelled to tell it. This is the story of The Christmas Ship.

Friday night:  We were in Chicago in early December, 2003 for an annual meeting. The local news was quietly buzzing in the background of the hotel room when something caught my attention...The local newscaster announced that the Christmas Tree Ship was docked at Navy Pier. It's deliver Christmas Trees, of all things... those who otherwise would not have one.  Around 500  trees were on the ship, and the trees came from North Country Christmas Trees in Wausaukee, Wi (Yikes, I thought, that's only 15 miles west of us... how neat!)  The announcer went on to add that the trees would be given to pre-selected city residents on Saturday. I thought the announcer said that the ship was a U.S. Coast Guard ship, but wasn't sure.

I didn't hear the rest of the story but the story stuck in my mind. We discussed what a neat Christmas story this was, and thought it was neat that the trees came from Wausaukee, and also thought it was neat that it might me a Coast Guard ship that had delivered the trees to those needing one in Chicago.  Neat because our city has a ship builder who builds U.S. Coast Guard ships. And that was that.

Saturday Afternoon: After meetings all morning, a quick lunch in one of the hotel's restaurants at noon, I was off to the afternoon meeting.  I sat in one of the chairs and was excited when I looked out  of the window and saw the Chicago River and...the lake front... and Navy Pier!!!  This  is awesome I thought, we'll have to take some pictures later this afternoon or tonight, after the dinner. 

Saturday Night: After meetings all day, and the formal dinner and awards ceremony that night, and even though we were exhausted, we started to talk about this Christmas Ship again, I mentioned that I could see Navy Pier from the afternoon meeting room, so we decided to snoop around a bit more. the hotel.  We decided to investigate.

Armed with a digital camcorder and a digital camera, we found a window at the end of a hallway on our floor, peered out, and what, to our surprise, did we see? Yes, we saw, in the dark, what appeared to be a U.S. Coast Guard ship, docked securely at Navy Pier.  Could this be the Christmas Tree Ship we wondered?  We took pictures of the night lights and cityscapes and some of this mysterious ship too.

According to the news story, as we remembered it, the trees were to be dispensed to pre-selected recipients on Saturday. We wondered if this "Christmas Tree Ship" would still be at Navy Pier on Sunday, after we checked out of hotel.  We wondered and hoped, and... of course, went on the web and did some research about this "Christmas Tree Ship" story.  I'll tell you what I discovered in a few pages, but 1st, back to my story.

Click here to read the entire story.





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