Book by Weber Jill
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The Christmas Tree: Prologue
I'm not a sentimental man, but when I saw her standing there, under the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, I started to cry.
She was not a young woman; in fact, she was fairly old. But her eyes stayed fixed on the star at the top of the tree with the curiosity and amazement of a child who has just discovered something new and wonderful. With her bright, bony face barely poking out of her black habit she looked like a little bird next to that giant tree. Only later would I understand exactly what lay behind the sparkle in her eyes, what it all meant to her.
Her name was Sister Anthony, and she was a friend of mine.
An unlikely friend, I suppose. I'm still not sure she ever knew what she did for me. But that's how it goes, I guess. You're touched by something or someone here and react to it over there and most times you don't connect one thing to the other. With Sister Anthony I knew, and I am grateful for that.
Forgive me. I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me tell you who I am and how I found myself in tears at an event that had become routine for me long ago.
I am the chief gardener at Rockefeller Center, though I think of myself as a magician of sorts. It's up to me to conjure up a Christmas tree every year--a tree so grand, so impressive--so magical--that it can stop New Yorkers in their tracks. If you've ever seen people flying around Manhattan, especially at Christmas, you can appreciate why I always get a little nervous this time of year.
It's enough to make you dread the season. We've had so many perfect trees perfection has become the norm. When you get 100 out of 100 every year you get no praise for getting 100 again, only complaints if you don't.
What is perfection?
It's hard to describe exactly what makes the perfect Christmas tree. The physical requirements are straightforward enough. The tree must stand tall and straight. Its branches must be thick and graceful, and they must point upward, giving the impression that they are reaching to the sky. They also have to be flexible, since they are tied down during the long journey to New York City.
But the trees that are finally selected need something more than height, thickness and suppleness--even more than mere beauty. And that's where I come in. I'm not an exceptional fellow in most ways, but I do have this gift. I can see if a tree has character, a spirit that outshines the ornaments and tinsel and lights--if its beauty comes from the inside and not just the outside.
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Julie Salamon grew up in Seaman, Ohio, and now lives in New York City with her husband, Bill Abrams, and their children, Roxie and Eli. She worked for The Wall Street Journal for sixteen years as a reporter and film critic. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and The New Republic. She is the author of a novel, White Lies, The Devil's Candy: "The Bonfire of the Vanities" Goes to Hollywood, and of The Net of Dreams: A Family's Search for a Rightful Place.
About the Illustrator
Jill Weber lives on Frajil Farms in Mount Vernon, New Hampshire, with her husband, Frank, and their son, Remy. After working at T. Y. Crowell and Simon & Schuster, she has freelanced as an illustrator and book designer for a number of major publishers. Her most recent works include the Penny Whistle children's series, Expectations: Best Kept Secrets Every New Mother Should Know, and a forthcoming children's book series to be published by Random House.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Description du livre Random House Large Print, 1996. Hardcover. État : New. N° de réf. du libraire P110679442537
Description du livre Random House Large Print, 1996. Hardcover. État : New. Lrg. N° de réf. du libraire DADAX0679442537