Anyone who has driven down Shoreline Highway during the holiday season after dusk has surely marveled at the lighted star nestled high atop a 150-foot redwood tree. The star's "owner" is Ken Phelps, a retired key grip from the film industry. Ken has worked in such films as, "THX 1138", "American Grafitti" and the "Matrix" series. He first put the star up when his son was a freshman at Tam High. His son is now 48 years old! People have been enjoying the star for over 30 years!
Although lit only between Thanksgiving and New Years, this star remains perched at the top of the tree year round. And every five years (or so) the star needs maintenance. And this was one of those years.
In the past, Ken and his two sons climbed the tree themselves to retrieve, repair and replace the star. But Ken wisely decided that had become too much for a 76-year-old. He recently came to the TCSD asking for assistance. Legally, the TCSD could not help, but I offered to help him on a personal basis (I get to see the star out of my bedroom window every night!)
Ken hired a tree expert to climb the tree and retrieve the star. He then repaired the star, and the tree expert climbed back up and replaced it. You may have noticed it shining brightly once again.
Ken estimates he spent about $500 on this round of repairs. I told him there are so many residents of Tam Valley who love and appreciate the star's yearly visit that we should start a crowdfunding campaign to help offset some of his costs.
So here we are. If you love seeing that bright red symbol in the sky please consider a small (or large) donation.
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