In 2000, accountant Bonnie Stanke bought a house on the corner of 93nd and Howard Streets to use as office space for her business, B.M.S. Management Services.
In front of the house stood a 40-foot pine tree, and even though she displayed the address in three different places, clients had a difficult time finding the house because the massive tree obstructed their view.
"I really hated to cut it down," says Stanke.
About a year later, at 2 a.m., Stanke got an idea while working on tax forms. She thought, "Why don't we make the tree into a pencil?"
"Pushing the pencil," after all, is an old expression that means working on paperwork, something Stanke does a lot of.
So Stanke contacted "Frank The Woodcarver" on 130th and Cleveland Avenue, to come over and look at the tree. She told him her idea.
"He said, 'Bonnie, I think we can do this,'" says Stanke.
The transition from tree-to-pencil took two months. After the leaves and branches were removed, the tree had to sit for two months drying and curing before Frank could carve and paint it.
"Basically, I had a 16-foot stump in my front yard; my neighbors thought I was crazy," she says.
Finally, Frank was able to create the pencil. He also carved a calculator at the base of the sculpture. Today, the huge yard pencil is a destination for kids and families as well as a helpful landmark for Stanke's clients.
"I tell them, 'I'm located on the corner of 93rd and Howard, there's a 14-foot giant pencil in the yard. You can't miss it,'" she says.
2 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Molly Snyder
Published May 25, 2013
The Indigo Girls play Pride Fest on Saturday, June 8 at 10:30 p.m. Recently, OnMilwaukee.com chatted with one half of the folk duo, Amy Ray, about homesickness, new music, songs she refuses to play on stage and Beans and Barley.
Published May 23, 2013
There are numerous terms that could be used to describe a person who is passionate about food and cooking. Like "food lover" or "gourmand" or "cuisine connoisseur" or even "food nerd." However, in our modern culture, "foodie" is the label that seems to stick like an al dente noodle on a wall.
Published May 22, 2013
The official kick-off of a partnership between Harley-Davidson and Miller High Life took place at MillerCoors Brewery today.
Published May 21, 2013
It seems like every week, sometimes more than once, we're grieving something awful.
Published May 19, 2013
Just because a woman turns 35 or 38 or 40 doesn't mean her wardrobe has to become a wasteland of frump and "mom jeans." Especially these days, when 40 is supposedly the new 30. But are there fashion dos and don'ts for middle-aged women?
Published May 18, 2013
Recently, four Milwaukee creatives opened the Cocoon Room, 820 E. Locust St. The goal of the group is to provide artists and musicians a space to share and sell their work as well as provide educational outreach to the community.
Published May 17, 2013
Rhino Food Store, 7411 W. Hampton Ave., is what I always want Pacific Produce to be: cheap, unoffensive to my sense of smell and filled with my favorite Asian foods and items.
Published May 16, 2013
Ninety-eight percent of my wardrobe is a size 6, and so, naturally, that's the size I grabbed at H&M. However, I could barely pull the pants above my knees. So I got an 8. Better, but still too small.
Published May 16, 2013
Maybe to fully appreciate Dretzka's Department Store in Cudahy one should approach it more as a living museum of mid-century clothing and household items rather than a shopping destination. But then again, few escape a trip to Dretzka's without buying at least one quirky item.
Published May 15, 2013
A new PETA billboard on West Lisbon Avenue shows a teen with a pimple-covered face, a milk mustache and the words, "Got zits? Studies Show: Milk and Cheese Trigger Acne. Ditch Dairy."