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Mountain Home Magazine

O Bucky Tree O Bucky Tree

Dec 01, 2023 09:00AM ● By Cindy Davis Meixel

What if Santa Claus retired? Given the exodus of Stephen Buckner Green, aka Bucky, from Wellsboro’s annual Dickens of a Christmas celebration, some may feel that’s the case. Bucky, whose carved “Bucky Trees” are a Christmas classic, was the last of the original Dickens vendors who set up shop along Main Street for the town’s first foray into the Victorian venture in 1984.

“It just got to be too much,” Bucky says. “It’s just the way it is when you get older, and I’m seventy-eight.”

Although he has retired from the event, Bucky has not retired from crafting his beloved and sought-after trees. He and his wife, Elly, also an artisan, continue to be busy elves at their home workshops, tucked in the woods west of Covington. One visitor said their workshops “smelled like thirty years of friendship.” They are carving out a new and peaceful life, far from the madding crowd.

“I’m still cutting firewood, still active here at home. We have eighteen acres here, and we just want to stay home,” Bucky relates. “We’re attached to the land, and that’s where it’s at.”

In addition to a garden, Bucky and Elly have a pond where they enjoy watching the wood ducks and feeding them cracked corn. “It’s a habitat here for animals,” he says.

The top dogs on the land are, indeed, the canine kind: Willie, a seven-year-old rescue collie, and Rebecca Sue, a six-month-old chocolate lab. “They keep us young,” Bucky laughs.

A quieter, simpler life is theirs—except when tree collectors come calling, especially as Christmas draws closer. Following a September Facebook post shared by fans who wanted to help keep Bucky’s sales strong, despite his upcoming retirement from Dickens, his address was shared widely. Without warning, it was a challenge to keep pace with the spontaneous drop-ins. “We got inundated,” he says. “It gets too crazy, and we don’t want crazy. I’m glad to sell my product, though. It pays the taxes.” Bucky welcomes people to call him first, then stop by to shop from the available stock, but he did not want to share his phone number or address for this story. “People will find the number when they ask around,” he adds.

Still, it’s the people that Bucky will miss the most from his Dickens days.

“It was a great time to see everyone you hadn’t seen in a year,” he affirms. “I have a lot of people to thank for where I’ve gotten.”

He won’t, however, miss the “set up, take down, and dealing with the weather.”

He’s amazed at how Dickens has grown. “What they did with Dickens is just incredible,” he enthuses. “It’s such a great show.” He fondly regards Bob Williams, of Wellsboro, who is credited with starting the festival as he spearheaded the Chamber Retail Committee.

“Bucky has always been the most beloved of all the vendors,” Bob says. “People came from Washington, DC, and Philadelphia, and all over to line up for one of his uniquely carved trees.”

“Bucky and Elly Green became icons at Dickens of a Christmas,” says Julie Henry, the chamber’s executive director. Two trees that Bucky carved from Wellsboro’s historic American elm, after a 2009 storm damaged a large branch and necessitated pruning, will be auctioned off by the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce sometime in the future. You can be sure you’ll read about it here.

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