Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

December 17, 2010

Tree seller celebrates 50 years on Maple Crest lot

Kokomo — For more than six decades, Dallas Thomas Jr.’s spending money has come from being green.

A friend sold Christmas trees, so the 14-year-old entrepreneur in need of Christmas cash sold trees, too.

“My parents didn’t have money to give me, so I had to earn it,” said Thomas, who operates three Christmas-tree locations in central Indiana. “I was always looking for something to sell, even garden seeds.”

He started small, but his business grew over time.

“I sold a dozen and went back for more,” he said. “After a while, he couldn’t let me have any more because it would hurt his supply. When I was 16, I got my driver’s license and went to Michigan and brought my own trees back to sell. I’ve been doing it ever since.”

Having sold Christmas trees for 62 years, Thomas is celebrating 50 years in the Kokomo Maple Crest lot, at the corner of Washington Street and Lincoln Road.

He also sets up in the Marion Five-Point Mall lot and has an Elwood retail operation.

Holding a faded, yellowish black-and-white 1958 photograph, Thomas reminisced about his Christmases at Maple Crest.

“Back then, there was not much here in this lot,” said Thomas, looking at the photo of himself and an oxen hauling Christmas trees in the area of the present-day Rural King store.

Well past just earning extra Christmas cash, he now sells trees, grave blankets and other Christmas decorations.

The Elwood man has also been known to offer stories about his Christmas career and advice on how to select the perfect tree from the five varieties on his lot.

A tree-buying tip from Thomas at no charge: Bend the tree’s needle. If the needle snaps, the tree is too dry. A bent needle should have a rubbery feel to it.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Flooded area - E Murden 01 Jaimz family seeks closure after losing everything Ashley Jaimz and her sister, Amanda Urbina, took a drive through the Cedar Crest neighborhood the other day to view how residents were faring in the wake of a Nov. 17 tornado. The drive was intended to provide some closure to Jaimz, who is still stru

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - FEMA 03 Kokomo resident whose basement collapsed during flood repairs own home Walter Raderstorf can still remember sitting in his living room inside his home on West Park Avenue, realizing he had escaped a brush with death. “I was in the basement carrying stuff up and I came in here and sat down,” he said. “It wasn’t 30 second

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Late Kokomo teacher dedicates estate to foundation Longtime Kokomo School Corp. teacher Holly Kirkpatrick will continue to have a positive impact on students thanks to a $38,000 donation from her estate to the Kokomo Public Schools Education Foundation. Kirkpatrick died in November 2012 after teachin

    April 20, 2014

  • flood anniversary Thomas family ready to move on after flood In the Thomas household, few things take precedent over baseball. You’d be hard-pressed to find a couple more dedicated to youth baseball in Kokomo — or anywhere else for that matter — than Michael and Lashanda Thomas, who have passed that love of th

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • OBT - Lutz obit pic James R. Lutz James R. Lutz, 72, Kokomo, passed away at 5:10 p.m. Friday, April 18, 2014, at his home after a courageous battle with cancer. Jim was born Sept. 8, 1941, in Elizabethtown, Ky., to John and Stella (Cartwright) Lutz. In 1961, he married Shirley L. (Mi

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • EasterEgg hunt 10 'Controlled chaos' at city's Easter egg hunt With buckets and Easter baskets in hand, hundreds of kids 10 years old and younger packed Kokomo's Northwest Park Saturday to see who could grab up the most Easter eggs. Organizers split the kids up in three age groups, 0 to 3, 4 to 6 and 7 to 10, wi

    April 20, 2014 4 Photos

  • NWS-FloodFollowDay2-15.jpg April flood brought people together to bail out community

    [Editor’s note: On April 19, 2013, a record flood hit Howard and Tipton counties. Today, we look at some of the financial aspects of the flood. In Sunday’s edition, look for stories about people who were affected, what has changed in the floodplains and how the communities are moving forward.]

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-KT041914-TwoinjuredinMiamiCocrash-CLG-pic.jpeg Two injured in Miami County crash

    PERU — Two people were injured Thursday afternoon in a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of U.S. 24 and Ind. 19.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Farmer loses seat belt fight on appeal

    Denver-area farmer Thomas Fox doesn’t like to wear his seat belt.
    But after his lengthy fight with the Indiana courts over a seat belt violation, Fox may be rethinking his stance.

    April 19, 2014

  • NSC establishes number of transfers

    Northwestern School Corp. has decided how many transfer students the district can accept next school year in compliance with the state's relatively new open enrollment law. This is the first time Northwestern has announced vacancies at each grade lev

    April 19, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries