The Vargoshe family of Shelton is giving up an important part of their lives, but they hope it will bring joy to many others.
“It’s very bittersweet,” Louise Vargoshe said on Thursday morning as a 76-feet-tall Norway spruce was being cut down on their property to become the 2013 Rockefeller Christmas tree.
“There are a lot of memories in that tree — baby swings, T-ball, Frisbees,” Louise said.
Many dozens of people gathered to watch professional tree crews, with the help of a large crane and many ropes, cut down the tree and place it on a 115-feet-long flatbed truck to be transported to Manhattan.
An emotional experience for the family
“This is great,” John Vargoshe, Louise’s husband, said. “We’re looking forward to seeing it in Rockefeller Center. But it’s kind of hard to see it get cut down.
“The family is emotional about it,” he said. “It will be tough to see the empty spot here.”
Nathan Vargoshe, 15, the oldest son, said the experience was “pretty cool. I’ve climbed that tree a bunch of times with my friends.
“It’s kind of happy and sad, but it’s good that a lot of people will be able to see it at Rockefeller Center,” said Nathan, who attends Shelton High School.
His younger brother, 12-year-old Noah, also said he had many fond memories of the tree and would miss it. “More people have been to space than have given a tree to Rockefeller Center,” noted Noah, who attends Shelton Intermediate School.
John Vargoshe works for Yale New Haven Health System, and his wife Louise works for Bridgeport Hospital. “This is going to be great for Shelton,” John said of the impact of having the tree come from his hometown.
Moved into house in 1992
The Vargoshe family has lived in the Kazo Drive house for 21 years. They are donating the tree to Rockefeller Center.
“We are very proud to be one of such a small group of families who can say their tree became the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree,” Louis Vargoshe said.
“Seeing the tree all lit up in Rockefeller Center — knowing it is our tree — will be awesome,” Nathan added.
Read a commentary about his family’s tree by 12-year-old Noah Vargoshe by clicking below:
The Norway spruce, which is about 75 years old, was planted by a previous owner of their home.
The Luchtenberg family had displayed the tree inside their home as a live Christmas tree, then planted it in the front yard after the holiday. It is believed this took place in the 1950s.
Tree arrives in New York on Friday
The Vargoshes will travel to New York City for Thursday night, and the tree will be placed in Rockefeller Center on Friday morning during NBC-TV’s “Today Show.” The tree will be temporarily stored overnight in Greenwich.
Once in place at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, scaffolding will be placed around the tree and it will be decorated with more than 45,000 multi-colored LED lights strung on five miles of wire.
The 81st Rockefeller Center Christmas tree-lighting ceremony will take place Wednesday, Dec. 4. It will be broadcast nationally on NBC-TV from 8-9 p.m.