The Acadian Style home, built by the Frank Pellerin family, was moved from its original location on Berard Street in downtown Breaux Bridge to the serene setting of the Hebert property on the banks of Bayou Teche near Poche Bridge.
One of the vintage aluminum trees displayed for the tour was an unexpected find when they attended an antique car show in Houston, Texas, during the Thanksgiving holiday that same year. Being antique car enthusiasts and owners of a 1958 Chevy station wagon and a 1978 El Camino, they often traveled to car shows and swap meets around the South, in addition to frequenting estate, garage and flea market sales to build their Christmas collection
The tree, still in its original box, was tucked away in the corner of a car parts booth when they spotted it and struck the deal. Little did they know that their purchase would also end a long journey home for the little tree and back to its original owners in Breaux Bridge.
Also on the Christmas Open House Tour that year was the home of Carl and Renella Simon. Mrs. Simon’s extensive Santa Claus collection was featured, which included Fitz and Floyd china Christmas figurines and a crystal ornament collection. Wanting to view the Hebert’s Christmas collection, the Simons visited the Heberts home that evening after the tour had ended. Vickie and Renella exchanged notes on their shared craft of creating Christmas ornaments fashioned from vintage costume jewelry. Renella, haved used the old liquidated stock of jewelry from the once gift, toy and houseware department of Simon’s Pharmacy on Main Street, back in the 60’s and 70’s.
Fast forward to 2009. At the end of the holiday season, as the Heberts were carefully putting away their collection of aluminum trees, Hubert began examining the original box of the tree they had purchased in Houston some 27 years ago. Much to his surprise, on the faded shipping label from the Strubac Company, was written: Simon’s Drug Store, Breaux Bridge, La. 1 of 14 cartons.
Back in the 60’s the Strubac Company, out of New Orleans, offered to their retailers, Simon’s Pharmacy being one of them, an aluminum Christmas tree as part of a promotional display package for their holiday line of toys and gifts. Hubert shared this discovery and his excitement with his son Casey, a very close friend of the Simon girls. In turn, Casey disclosed the find to them and arrangements were made for Vickie and Hubert to return the tree to the Simon family that January.
This holiday season, the tree is now back home and proudly displayed in the window of Simon’s Pharmacy, the same spot it had sat more than 50 years ago.