BEAVER COUNTY (KDKA) — Lee Mick of East Liverpool, Ohio was driving his pickup truck through Beaver County Sunday, when he saw a large box blow off a truck in front of him.
He stopped and picked it up.
“And I see on it says ‘Jess Tree,'” he recalled, at his Ohio home.
He says he got off the Vanport ramp and drove to JR’s Pizza in Industry.
“I explained what had happened, and said do you have a phone book?”
The shop owner’s sister, Heather Genung, says it’s been a long time since she’s used a phone book. But she says the internet was no help, either.
“I spent 10 minutes trying to find Jess Tree, and I said ‘There’s no Jess Tree.'”
She suggested they open the box.
“I just opened the lid up of it,” Lee Mick recalled, “and they said, ‘Oh my goodness!'”
He says it turned out to be a “Christmas tree” – actually a grapevine – covered with family mementos and ornaments dating back 35 years.
“I said, this thing has a lot of sentimental value, and I’d hate to see it just be thrown away.”
“And I’m thinking somebody’s going to miss this tree,” Heather Genung added. “So I called you guys.”
She also emailed photos of the tree to producers at KDKA-TV. The photos aired on the Monday morning news, and tree co-owner Lou Campisi says he was watching.
“When I saw it on TV this morning, I started screaming for my wife. You’d better come look at this! Come and look at it! She said, ‘Oh my God. There it is!”
When his wife called the station, we set up a rendezvous with Lee Mick at the pizza shop. Three generations of mementos would soon be going home.
Lou admits he was in the doghouse, since he was driving the truck. He offered a final word of advice.
“Everybody, watch channel 2!”