Valmeyer’s newest resident has already begun making his presence felt thanks to word of mouth and an appearance on television.
That’s an especially impressive feat considering the resident is a tree named Larry, who was created by Ella Valentine.
“One day, my wife and I, along with my 11-year-old daughter Ella, were out on a Sunday drive — just driving the old streets in old Valmeyer,” Tim Valentine recounted. “We found ourselves at a secluded dead end, and as we were turning around my daughter said ‘look at that tree. All it needs is a set of eyes and it would make a perfect face.’”
Tim had a large set of googly eyes at home, so he got those and put them on the tree.
“We just sat back and laughed because this tree really did just come to life,” Tim said. “It just looked so perfect.”
Tim decided to take a picture of his daughter’s creation, which the family named Larry, and share a couple of clues to his location while encouraging people to find and post pictures with Larry.
“I could not believe the interest this caused,” Tim said. “It became a ‘thing to do’ — drive around and find Larry. The very next morning an old friend found him and took a picture of himself drinking a cup of coffee with Larry. It was too funny and the game was on. So many people looked and just couldn’t find him.”
Tim also started a Facebook page for Larry, where he posts updates as the tree gets new additions like a mask or Halloween costume. He even shared that someone sent him a birthday card from Larry.
Individuals also use the page to share their pictures with the tree, with a new bride and groom being among Larry’s most distinguished visitors.
The tree has become so famous that he even made an appearance on the Kay’s Moment of the Day segment on KSDK last week after Tim’s aunt submitted a picture to the TV station.
“With all this COVID and all the quarantine, this really was a fun thing that lifted a lot of spirits,” Tim said. “This has just become a fun thing for me and my daughter and people all over who take their picture with Larry once they find him.”
To find Larry yourself, search within Valmeyer’s city limits about five feet from the road. Larry is not on private property.