Much more than a stump

An oak tree that once threatened to damage Gerald Butch Griffin’s Lake Bernadette home has become a symbol of peace, faith and freedom for all to see.

Griffin’s home on Lake Bernadette Drive was easy to miss. Like many homes, a tree graced the front yard and draped over the home. It provided plenty of shade, but could ultimately cause thousands of dollars in damage.

Instead of taking the tree completely to the ground, Griffin had chainsaw artist Von Hoosier, a seasonal resident, to transform the rather large stump into a piece of natural art that features an angel, a bald eagle and a wolf.

“I think they did an excellent job,” Griffin said. “It is beautiful and we appreciate what he did.”

Griffin said he always like eagles and his wife June always like angels. Hoosier added his personal touch by carving the howling wolf.

“I hated taking the tree down,” Griffin said. “It provided beautiful shade. We had to take it down before it came down and destroyed my house. We couldn’t take a chance with all these hurricanes.”

The sculpture stands at about 12 feet high and extends to 20 feet high with a flag pole.

It stops traffic in front of their home and it has created a buzz on social media.

“We have so many comments,” Griffin said. “People just tell us how awesome it is. It blows our mind, honestly. People stop in front of the house, get out of their cars and take pictures.

“We’re afraid that we’re gonna see a wreck out there of people looking at the carving and driving.”

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