"It was a really hot day," Barbara Scott said. "And it was a really, really, big tree."
Barbara was remembering the day last July when her boyfriend, Jeff Kramer, faced a huge task—the removal of a huge white oak tree on the property of June Bux.
In the early days of Lake Saint Louis, June's husband had planned the construction of their home around the 200-year-old tree that a few years later was designated a Liberty Tree. For more than 30 years, it was a community landmark.
June was a long-time customer of Kramer's lawn and tree care service, Never Rake Again, and she called on Jeff when the decision was made to cut down the rapidly deteriorating oak tree.
Barbara went with him to help, and she spent some time talking with June about the tree that had stood guard over her family's home for so many years.
"I talked to June and really got to know her," Barbara said. "She had her heart in that tree."
READ MORE: Lake Saint Louis Says Farewell to its Landmark 'Liberty Tree'
That's when inspiration hit. Barbara's brother John Grady was a hobbyist wood carver. John could make something out of the wood so that June would have a keepsake.
Barbara took a large chunk of the wood and put it in her Jeep. She took it to her brother, and in John's skillful hands, the chunk of wood was transformed into a elegantly handcrafted wooden bowl.
"It turned out so well," Barbara said. "The color of the wood, the grain—just beautiful."
Barbara and Jeff visited June on Christmas Day and presented the bowl to June.
The gift was a complete surprise to June, who was thrilled to have such a beautiful remembrance of her beloved Liberty Tree. She plans to have the words "Lake Saint Louis Liberty Tree" etched onto the bottom of the bowl beside John's signature.
"It was just a small token for a lady with a really big heart," Barbara said.
But for June, it was so much more, a gift that her family can treasure for generations to come. The memory of Lake Saint Louis' Liberty Tree will live on.