Monday, December 27, 2010

A Christmas tree experiment gone chemically wrong

From Maryland-

Richard Israel, an Annapolis alderman, historian and storyteller, remembers the year he had two Christmas trees.

It had to do with the fact that Israel's father, Floyd Israel, was a professional chemist.

It had to do with an experiment gone bad.

"I grew up in Hutchinson, Kansas, and we had had a fire in our house," Israel said. "It damaged the house, so we had to vacate, but we had moved back in, in time for Christmas. But it left my parents very fire conscious."

Israel said his family, despite the name, had always been Christian. In fact, his mother's family had been Presbyterians until the local Episcopal church started paying one of Richard Israel's ancestors a dime each week to sing in the choir because of his excellent voice. The family switched denominations.

Israel was an only child, and his parents always put up the Christmas tree on his birthday, Dec. 18.

This particular Christmas season was 1948, when Israel was 5 years old.

"My father decided to fire-proof the Christmas tree. He mixed up some concoction in his laboratory," Israel said.

More here-

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