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Charles Paterno, the man who invented the Christmas trees business

At Christmas, Windmill Farm became the biggest distribution center for Christmas trees in the whole state. The scene was unforgettable, especially when a thin layer of snow covered the land and the treetops. A long row of trucks, big American trucks, would load the trees, each one planted in a tin vase painted red and with a wooden plaque that read: “Children, I’m your Christmas tree. Take care of me, because if you do, I will grow bigger and stronger, just like you!” And then they would head out through the streets of the county, invading the houses of thousands of New Yorkers.

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