Home » Stories we tell » FRANKENPINE?



How awesome and timeless is the Charlie Brown Christmas special?  I remember waiting for it every year as a child, laughing at Charlie Brown’s tree, and at Lucy’s relentless pursuit of Schroeder.

There are classic lines in the special, as well as scenes, themes and music that is not replicated elsewhere.  I especially appreciated the piano music in the special.  See, we were all forced to take piano lessons as kids: seven of us, hour-long lessons, and required practice time during the week, complete with metronome clicking away.  (Were my parents entirely crazy???  The timer was set, the practice schedule determined, between the nice piano upstairs and the one in the scary basement.  OMG in retrospect!)

So fast forward to my life now, with its numerous trips up and down the Northway, I-87.  Particularly in the winter when the other leaves have fallen, round about at Exit 2 southbound you start to catch sight of …  wait…

Is that a Frankenpine?

In case you haven’t heard, Frankenpines are an attempt to pretend that a cell-tower is not being placed in a startling position in the middle of a very natural, bucolic setting.  Why Frankenpines?  Well, we had one accident in northern New York, on the same I-87, where an elderly couple went off the road in the winter, and there was no cell service.  The husband died of hypothermia, and the wife somehow survived almost three days.  There are other stories along the same interstate, highlighting the need for the ugly Frankenpine.  

Turns out this poor Frankenpine in Colonie is NOT a cell tower, but instead a grown up Charlie Brown Christmas tree!  It just needed some love, someone to cut it down and make it beautiful before it grew up into its gangly, current outgrown self.

Can someone spare some lights and love for this poor thing?

About Claire Ziamandanis

Claire Ziamandanis is Professor of Spanish at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Over her 20 years at the college, she has been a champion for study abroad, establishing the first affiliation for Spanish students, and then working with the Study Abroad office to open the doors to students from other majors. Claire loves travel, food, wine and Spanish but not necessarily in that order!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Scroll To Top