Lenny and Lino?s Tree

Lenny and Lino’s Tree

At the end of my two-day interview to become Belmont Day’s next head of school, I met with the search committee in the BDS Bungalow for one last round of questions. As the hour with the committee ended, so, I thought, had the interview process. However, as we left the building, one of the committee members stopped me in the parking lot. She grabbed me by the arm, and brought me to the beautiful fir tree that stands beside the Bungalow between the Archery and Far Fields and explained: “This tree, Brendan, has a story to it. It’s Lenny and Lino’s tree. If you end up as head of this school, please make sure that the tradition of its decoration each year continues. We worry that it might suggest to some that Belmont Day isn’t an inclusive place, but the story of the tree is actually one of inclusion and of honoring the memory of a beloved member of our community.”  

She went on to tell me the story and it moved me so deeply that I included it in my first communication to the Belmont Day community last fall. Since then, I have been waiting for the day the tree would light up. That day came yesterday. The story of the tree is captured beautifully in this article, written by Jill Becker P ’14, for the BDS parent newsletter. Enjoy, and have a great weekend.

A STORY OF FRIENDSHIP: THE L & L TREE
by Jill Becker P ’14, reprinted annually since the February 16, 2008 Friday Notice

I first noticed the sweet, colorfully decorated Christmas tree near the Belmont Day School garage last winter. I asked some of the other moms in the pick-up line if they knew anything about it. None of them knew for sure, but one offered, “I think it has something to do with (former Maintenance Director) Lenny Corso.” And then, after the holiday break, the decorations were gone.

This year, again, the decorations returned! Still, I had no explanation—and I wondered. One day last week, I was in the pick-up line earlier than usual. Mr. Medeiros came over to my car, and we started chatting. I asked him if he knew about that tree and he told me the story:

It had been Lino Medeiros who had discovered the little tree, somewhere amongst the trails behind Belmont Day School. Later, he told Lenny Corso about the “beautiful little tree” that he had found, and he asked Lenny to help him move it. Lenny agreed.

Lino described the location of the tree to Lenny. He then rode one of the pieces of the school’s heavy machinery out to the location of the tree, where he waited for his colleague and friend. He heard Lenny, on the Gator, driving around in the woods—close to, but not at, the location of the little tree. Lino waited as Lenny made his way through the woods and, eventually, to him. The two men dug up the tree together. They brought it to a place near the spot where it now grows. Lino told Lenny, “This will be the L & L tree, for Lino and Lenny.” He then asked Lenny where they should plant the tree. Lenny said, “You’re the boss now. You decide.” This was to be Lenny’s last day at Belmont Day. Mr. Corso passed away in May 2006 after a five-year battle with multiple myeloma.

Every year now Lino and other faculty and staff decorate the tree in Lenny’s honor. I thought each of you would like to know this beautiful story. Thank you, Lino, for sharing it with us. Middle school students planted another tree in Mr. Corso’s honor that flourishes in the front circle to this day.

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On Tuesday, we will gather for our annual Thanksgiving assembly—an opportunity to express gratitude as a community.

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