Sunday, March 8, 2009

Blue Monday: The Angel Tree in Bay St. Louis


While in Bay Saint Louis last week for the Great American Cleanup, my cousin Kathleen took Karen and I on a little tour of Bay St. Louis. One of the sites she showed us was this "Angel Tree" that is only a couple of blocks from the beach. The BLUE skies were partly cloudy and my picture didn't turn out as clear as I hoped, but you can see the details with which the angels were carved in this tree which did not survive the storm.

I found this excerpt from the archives of Mississippi Magazine that explains the Angel Tree:

During the worst part of the storm, several locals (including a retired hurricane hunter) sought "high ground" on the second floor of the Bay Town Inn, near Demontluzin Avenue. When the huge house began to crumble in the violent storm surge, three of them--Doug Niolet, Nikki Nicholson, and Kevan Guillry--swam to a nearby oak tree in a last-resort effort to survive the storm. All three individuals made it through safely by clinging to the limbs, but the tree did not survive.


When the tree, the very thing that stood strong to save their lives, faced imminent removal, they sought the help of an Indiana "chain saw sculptor" named Dayle Lewis with the Kat-Rita Wood Project, a non-profit organization that turns hurricane scrap wood into art. Lewis whittled the bare Live Oak down to its main trunk and created beautiful angels from some of its existing limbs. Now locals call the sculpture the "Demontluzin Angels" to commemorate their experience.

Please visit Sally at Smiling Sally for more Blue Monday posts!
Thanks for visiting today!

35 comments:

Elizabeth said...

What a cool story!

Darlene said...

What a fabulous story and beautiful angel carving. Have a great Monday!

susan said...

This picture really is worth 1000 words and a great reminder of gratitude!

tardevil said...

Great story. I remember hearing about 3 people clinging to a tree, but didn't know that's what happened to it after that.

jeanne said...

Good Morning Diane, what an interesting story about the angel tree. I would love to see it. Your photo is awesome.

Question. Did you link up at Sally's? I have been there several times since 5:00am and nothing. Just curious.

Have a great day...Hugs, Jeanne

Honeycombmama said...

Nice to see a tragedy turn into something magnificent! Thanks for sharing
Gina Jo

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

What a great post...thanks...

bj said...

Wow...I remember hearing about this, I think.
Thanks for the story and the photo...

Smilingsal said...

Fascinating! I hadn't heard that. Thanks for sharing. Happy Blue Monday.

Shirley said...

She's lovely. The blue sky is such a gorgeous color.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

This is so touching, Diane. My cousin is a Hurricane Hunter at Keesler. While he was flying, his home was destroyed. So this is very powerful to me. I read all sorts of stories about the storm, and I remember reading of this particular one. While I'm terribly sorry that wonderful live oak didn't make it, it's neat to see how it ended. My heart just aches for all of those people who have been through so much.

Happy Blue Monday...

XO,

Sheila

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Diane
It's so fitting that a beautiful angel memorial was cut into the tree as a reminder of it's last act of shelter.
Hugs, Pat
PS: Katz's deli is an experience, but it's pricey and cash only. That's why we stuck with the hot dog and kinish..lol

LADY JANE'S EMPORIUM said...

Great story Diane! Thanks for sharing! Happy Blue Monday to you!

JudyBug said...

What a fascinating story. I love posts like this!

JudyBug

Southern Lady said...

Interesting story, Diane ... We missed seeing the angel tree when we were in Bay Saint Louis.

Thank you for sharing it.

Sincerely,

Janie

April said...

What a cool tree...and, especially, the story that goes along with it! AWESOME!

ellen b said...

Good morning Diane! What a dramatic carving this is. Very cool. Happy Blue Monday to you!

Bo said...

Hi Diane...I'm so glad this mighty oak will always be preserved in such an extraordinary way..;-) Bo

xinex said...

What a beautiful story and a beautiful tree sculpture!...Christine

LADY JANE'S EMPORIUM said...

Diane what an awsome story! Happy Blue Monday!

Joanna said...

What a beautiful carving! The sky was just gorgeous this weekend.

imjacobsmom said...

How fitting for such a majestic tree that was a refuge in the storm! - what a neat story! ~ Robyn

playsdolls said...

What a beautiful tribute to the tree that safed those 3 peoples lifes.The piece is truly beautiful.Thank you for this post.

Chari said...

Hello Diane...

What a touching story...I can't even begin to imagine how terrifying that would have been...to survive that storm by hanging onto a tree for dear life!!! What a beautiful tribute to life, survival, and God's mercies....the angel tree is fabulous!!!

I have a couple of old trees in my backyard that we already took out...all but about 8 ft of the trunks...I would love to do something like this with them...but sculpting with a chain-saw isn't my forte!

Thank you for sharing this beauty!
Warmest wishes,
Chari

Judi said...

Diane
Thank you for sharing this story. Its hard to imagine something like this when one has never gone through it. There must be so many stories with so much having happened.
I hope your day today has been a lovely one.
Judi

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Amazing story, Diane! The angel tree is beautiful!!

Susan said...

great picture and story!

Susan

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

The picture of that carving and the story about it were just amazing! Thank you. laurie

Dawn said...

THat is a beautiful carving and what a great story. You always have such interesting stories to share. ☺

take care,
Dawn

Sandy Toes said...

Interesting story!!! Have a great Monday, Diane!
sandy toe

Blondie's Journal said...

Diane,

This post was both beautiful & sad. It is so uplifting to see mankind come together during tough times. Thank you for sharing!

xoxo
Janie

Beth at Aunties said...

Diane,

I really appreciated your post and all you do to volunteer to make our world a little bit better.
I was moved about the story of the angel tree and the lives that were saved. Thanks for sharing the tree and story with us:)

Diane @ Four Paws and Co said...

Beautiful story! ♥

Sweetie said...

Thanks for sharing such a moving story. The angel tree is facinating. Happy Blue Monday!
Sweetie

Becky said...

Its beautiful. I love the story too.