Support Grows for Ocean Beach Christmas Tree that Leans to the Left

by on December 8, 2016 · 10 comments

in Culture, History, Life Events, Ocean Beach


Claudia Peters Jack, the unofficial “Mayor of OB”, explained the bend in OB’s left-leaning Christmas Tree at the very foot of Newport Avenue as natural, and added:

“It was on Worden Street growing next to another tree through the same trunk. The tree [was] very healthy when it was cut.”

She was quoted from a facebook comment in a cute article by Ken Stone of Times of San Diego entitled, “Obecians Stick Up for Left-Leaning Yule Tree: ‘Let It Be, Let It Be’ “

Claudia, who is staff to the OB Mainstreet Association, has been involved in the village’s yule tree for over 25 years and knows a thing or two about OB’s adventures over the years in procuring the traditional Christmas Tree for the community.

This year’s tree was put up on November 29th and had its lights and decorations – paid for by the OB  Town Council – put up the next day by council board members and volunteers

Nick Bazydlo – vice-president of the OBTC – told 10News that the tree’s installation was a collaborative effort with local professionals who either donate their time or do it at cost — “a skilled group of tree trimmers, crane operator, truck driver, project coordinator, police escort, the OB Town Council and, most importantly, the Queen Bee of OB – Claudia [Peters Jack].”

Bazydlo said the tree was growing straight up when chosen and cut down, and emailed:

“The cause of the lean is inexplicable.”

The lean has brought some controversy to the tree, with some social media commenters actually calling for its removal or to “fix it”.

Despite this, there appears to be growing support for the tree, for its lean, and for how it joyfully characterizes Ocean Beach.

The Times of San Diego chronicled the social media discussion about the tree.

Bazydlo said it was clear to workers that the conifer had its own agenda.

“It would not be manipulated as those in the past to adjust its positioning,” he said, quoting one installer as saying: “Perhaps this tree is here to carry a message.”

Asked if the tree needed to be righted, dozens of Facebook commenters sent their own message.

“Let it Be, Let it Be… Let it Be, Let it Be,” said Dana DaLuz with emojis of yule trees, a snowman and musical notes.

“Pretty sure it’s not able to be straightened … anyway. Conversion therapy doesn’t work,” said Gina Faye Smith.

Alyssa Mo asked: “Why would they fix it if it’s not broken? Most Obecians lean to the left, so the awesome tree fits perfectly!”

Labeled “funky,” “quirky” and the “leaning tower of OBIZZA” by others, the tree is like OB: “perfectly imperfect,” said Tara Lynn Booze.

“We’ve always been a little sideways here in Ocean Beach,” she said. “It seems fitting that our tree doesn’t attempt to live up to the usual elements of pretension we see in other parts of San Diego. Keep it weird, keep it tilted :)”

Jennifer Stafinbil said: “Just as laid back as our little town! Love it, leave it!!!”

In fact, if OB ever had a perfect Christmas tree, said Laura Anne Maturo, “we’d have to rename our little town to La Jolla. Imperfection is what makes OB so absolutely perfect.” (Past trees have been nontraditional as well. In 2013, the San Diego Reader said: “If it looks perfect, people complain it’s not O.B. enough.”)

Ken Stone, the reporter, also included those who wanted to be comical:

Said Michael Spiker: “Does the OB town tree have erectile dysfunction? Dissolve some Viagra in a gallon of water and set it in the base.”

Said Jonathan Evans: “I just spread some little blue pills around the base, but if it lasts standing up straight for more than 4 hours we’d need to call an arborist.”

Bazydlo, of the OBTC, was asked if anyone had asked for  the tree to be straightened? He said:

There have been three total people who have asked for it to be replaced! There have been hundreds who have adopted it into their hearts as the perfect OB Tree.”

Stone, following Ocean Beach Facebook groups, found support was not unanimous:

“Fix it,” demanded Susan Sharpe. “Why should OB just settle for that? It looks ridiculous and besides it could be dangerous as it appears that it could easily be toppled!”

Lacy Younger said: “Make it straight! What is it with our OB trees every year? Straggly, sparse, feeble, falling over. Charlie Brown’s got nothin’ on us! We don’t need extravagant or perfect. But for once it would be nice to have one with some symmetry that doesn’t look poorly.”

Offering sarcastic rebuke was Kevin Hastings: “I demand a perfect tree. With 24k gold tinsel and real candles” — to which Sue Dumas replied (with LOL): “Well then make reservations at the Hotel Del.”

Stone quoted Bazydlo, as saying that “the most beautiful comment” was from a passer-by, who said, according to Bazydlo:

“Perhaps the tree is letting us remember that its beauty can be seen with the right perspective, just like the beauty of OB, just like the beauty of the holidays and just like the beauty of your life.  It’s all perspective.”

Source: Ken Stone of Times of San Diego

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

rick callejon December 8, 2016 at 1:17 pm

Atlas Tree Service is licking their chops.


retired botanist December 9, 2016 at 5:19 am

Haha, its lovely! And the comments are so “right on”! OBceans are smart and know that ALL trees are valuable, and the quirky character of the OB Christmas tree is part of that value- part of OB’s statement…who wants a perfect, symmetrical, fakey-looking, Walmart tree?! Keepin’ it real- that’s what we do! :-)


Steve A. December 9, 2016 at 9:20 am

It’s definitely the saggiest, most pathetic OB Xmas tree I’ve seen in 11 years.


OBBreweriesEverywhere December 9, 2016 at 12:02 pm

C’mon’ OB, we can do better than that! lol. You’re right Steve A.


Colin Purdy December 9, 2016 at 3:42 pm

Stick with our mysterious Christmas tree and leave it be! (And why chop down a second one just to toss it in a few weeks, anyway.)


Byron Wear December 9, 2016 at 5:37 pm

I was out swimming a few days ago and determined that the tree leans actually to the right, not the left.


Merry Christmas OB!


South OB Girl December 10, 2016 at 1:44 pm

A comment I saw somewhere along the way said– We have a very laid back Christmas tree this year… Just like our community. It’s a perfect match.


claudia jack December 15, 2016 at 5:59 am

Frank, Thanks for the post>> The tree was on Worden Street growing into another, when it was cut we all noticed the natural bend>> Once it was put in the sleeve which is in the sand it took 2 days to settle>> The tree is very Healthy and after talking to a lot of people, thought from everyone said “Let it Be” I have been on this committee 24 years and I have many stories about all the trees>> Someday I will maybe do a story!! On the thursday after we put it up over 500 kids came and put a handmade ornament on it, the kids loved it!! I heard one little boy say to another ” I really love my OB Tree” Life is Good in the OB Hood!!! Enjoy>> Claudia


Klaus ristau January 22, 2017 at 7:35 pm

Leans towards delmonte


Angel December 1, 2021 at 12:30 pm

I love the leaning tree. Only a true Obeachians would get it?


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