Tree transformed intospecial Mother’s Day gift

Published 5:00 am Monday, May 29, 2000

After years of asking, a Brookhaven woman finally had herrequest filled on Mother’s Day this year.

Katie Love has always admired the carving talents of her husbandDavid,. But she had never been able to convince him to makesomething for her until recently.

“I started a long time ago trying get him to carve mesomething,” she said.

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This year she came up with a special request that he didn’t turndown. When he asked what she wanted for Mother’s Day, she told himshe wanted a totem pole.

He found the idea quite intriguing and thought it was time togive her something she really wanted.

David found information about totem poles by checking out booksfrom the local library and looking on the Internet.

After deciding to create a totem pole with an eagle, beaver andwolf carved into it, he started searching for the perfect tree,which he quickly found in his backyard.

“We cut a 30-foot cedar tree out of the yard, then I measure offwhat I needed and I got a piece of chalk and outlined a roughsketch,” he said.

Then David used an electric chain saw and a grinder to createthe outline of the animals in the tree. He was quite surprised byhow perfectly the tree was shaped for his project.

“It worked out where there was a limb for the eagle’s beak, sothat was really nice,” he said.

He used a carving tool to add details such as eyes, wings,mouths and tails to the 11-foot totem pole. Then he painted some ofthe areas, such as the eyes, of each wooden animal.

David completed his project with a waterproofing solution tomake sure the totem pole would last for years to come.

“I read that a carved cedar will last about 60 years so Ifigured if I waterproofed it, it would last about 70 or 75 yearsand it could be a heirloom,” said David.

Once completed he placed his wife’s gift in their front yardusing steel rods and cement for support.

Although the totem pole has only been erect for a week, it hasalready received a lot of attention.

“People will slow down to look at it, and a few nearly ran offin the neighbor’s yard,” said Katie. “They’re welcome to pull inthe driveway and look so it will be safer.”

Katie is proud of her Mother’s Day gift and already has plansfor a future gift from her husband.

“My next project for him is to build a totem pole with cartooncharacters on it,” she said.