Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year and I always follow the progress of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree on it’s journey. This year it made its way from Flanders, NJ to Rockefeller Plaza and will get all dressed up and topped with the Swarovski Crystal for it’s big debut on November 28th.
But we wanted to talk to the man behind the tree. The man who watched it grow into the 80 feet. tall, 50 feet. diameter, 10-ton Norway Spruce and symbol of Christmas for all of New York and much of the nation to enjoy.
His name is Joseph Balku, a Hungarian immigrant, who moved to his Flanders property in 1973 when the tree was only 16 feet tall.
It was by chance that the man from Rockefeller Center lost his way while scoping out neighboring trees and found himself in Joseph’s driveway.
“He took a bunch of pictures [of the trees] and he left. I said this guys is never going to come back,” said Joseph.
To his surprise he came back a week later with a few other people to examine the tree.
“They were climbing and measuring the tree to see how tall the tree was. I never though this was such a big production,” he said.
Joseph is honored that his tree was chosen to bring joy to fellow Americans especially after the recent Hurricane Sandy disaster. He will be at the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting on Tuesday when the star is placed at the very top.
-Kim Berk/Maria Bonello, Fresh 102.7/NYC
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