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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Naperville’s new totem pole depicts three bears, stands for family


This youngster who identified himself as “Greg,” said he’s depicted at the top of the todem pole.

Do you have a favorite bear from the storybooks? Is it Smokey? Fozzie? Yogi? Winnie the Pooh? Paddington? Teddy? Or an entire football team of them from Chicago?

Or do you prefer the family named Mama Bear, Papa Bear and Baby Bear who appeared in the fairy tale, The Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears?

Following a tip from Chuck Corrigan that led to Swallow Street, just south of Bailey Road, PN’s camera captured a 10′ foot-high totem pole featuring images of a three-bear family  that represents all four members of the Lamesch family—Stacey, Mark, Daphne and Gavin.

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The Lamesch family has lived at that location since 2009, Stacey said.

Their home was built in 1969, so the Lameschs suspect the very large, very messy locust tree that had stood near their garage hanging over the roof was at least 45 years old when it was cut down to a stump 12 feet high where it measured about 83 inches in circumference.

The new totem pole alongside the driveway was crafted by chainsaw sculptor Eric Widitz of Art in Trees, known for his rustic creations for the outdoors inspired by nature and wildlife.

The idea for the bear sculpture was a collaborative family decision that came after they all agreed they wanted something other than a bench that had been Mark’s original suggestion when the tree was cut down due to age.

The idea for the new bear family totem pole was a collaborative effort by the Lamesch family that stands for their family.

“The honeycomb or beehive in the hands of the top bear was the great idea of our daughter,” Stacey added.

Mark said the sculptor used a combination of five or six sizes of chainsaws to create the image sketched on paper prior to beginning on March 18. Standing on a scaffolding for the better part of two days, Widitz’ playful design came to life late Friday when he added finishing touches using a blow torch, black paint and protective sealant.

Noting the residue of sawdust surrounding the base of the finished art, Mark said he already had collected six garbage cans full of sawdust that would be mixed into compost.

Two large halves of tree trunk from the locust tree remained alongside the garage, likely saved for the large bench Mark still plans to build.

No doubt, when finished, Mark’s bench will be situated in a good place to sit and enjoy the view of the family totem pole.

And mindful of The Three Bears, perhaps some joker will ask, “Who’s been sitting on my bench?”


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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.


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