Remember the BOWPICKER TOPIARY HEDGE the Ear wrote about last week? Several people wrote in or called with its story. Thank you all!

"DENNY THOMPSON owned and operated Thompson's Astoria Granite Works," Denny's niece, CINDY THOMPSON DALY wrote. "He grew up around fishermen in Finnish Uniontown and loved to visit the Columbia Boat Yards in Astoria, and specifically liked boats designed by MATT TOLONEN."

Denny's wife, FRANKYE THOMPSON, a nurse trained at St. Mary's Hospital who worked at Columbia Memorial Hospital, "was relaxing in the sun one day and looked at the hedge and asked Denny if it was about the length of a gillnet boat," Cindy wrote. "Denny thought that was a crazy thing to ask. Guess it wasn't, as soon thereafter he was busy trimming it into that shape."

Pictured above from left, Denny and Frankye Thompson, Christmas Eve 2009, in front of the bowpicker topiary.

"The laurel hedge was planted approximately 40 years ago, and within 10 years was tall enough to be trimmed to look like a bowpicker gillnet boat," Cindy explained. "Denny then began trimming the hedge himself to match Matt Tolonen's design."

DIANE BEESTON wrote that Denny "used to trim the hedge with the use of his hoist used for lifting large blocks of granite. His wife stood and manipulated the direction controls at his command. I had the privilege of seeing this one time. It was very entertaining." 

"Denny's grandson carried on duties of trimming the hedge, and when he moved away, Denny hired local landscaper TAL GOHL to continue to keep the hedge looking pristine," Cindy added. "Now you have the rest of the story."


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