ABBEVILLE, La. (KLFY) – You may be used to seeing Christmas lights or perhaps a bird house when you look up in a tree.
But have you ever seen a car stuck in a tree?
It’s an old legend in Abbeville and the surrounding areas. A 1973 Plymouth Fury 3, ending up in an oak tree right off of Highway 82.
It’s a two door vehicle, with a police interceptor engine under the hood, and has been stuck in that tree for over 34 years.
Charley Steen was born and raised in Abbeville and has lived in the same home for close to 40 years.
“That was one segment of my life,” said Steen, referring to the Fury in the oak tree.
There are many rumors and stories circulating throughout the town and on the internet about just how that car got stuck in the tree.
“I didn’t taunt the sheriff. He and I were really good friends,” said Steen.
Everyone has their own idea about how it got there from a Boy Scout project gone wrong to the car rising on top of an acorn which grew into the oak tree.
“I bought it from a good friend of mine, Daryl Robo with Robo’s Auto Sales, right between Christmas and New Year’s of 1982. We just used it as a car to go around and not cause trouble, we just had fun in it,” said Steen.
Until one day, when Steen was leaving to visit friends in Lake Tahoe. His friends were jokesters and he knew that while he was away, anyone of them could take the car and pull a prank on him.
“So my friend had the bright idea saying why don’t we take this car, put it up there in that oak tree, nobody will be able to use it. Great idea! So we just hopped in my truck, drove over to the shop, got the cherry picker, and the chainsaw,” said Steen.
Then Steen and his friends went back to the house, and after a few hours, it was done.
“And I tied a chain to it, so that it can’t come out the tree, and the rest is history,” said Steen.
What was originally a joke back in the 80’s and a way to keep his friends from using the car while he was out of town, it has now lasted over three decades.
“So we just kept the car up there, because if it would’ve come down, things wouldn’t have worked out the same,” said Steen.
He says people notice the car whenever they pass by his house, and it’s become a local landmark.
“It’s part of Abbeville,” said Steen.
But after 30-plus years in the tree, there are questions about the car’s future.
“There’s some dead limbs growing on the same limb. I want him to check it out, and if for some reason it’s harming the tree, I’m going to take it down,” he said.
For now, it’s a piece of history in Abbeville.
“Good ole’ times,” Steen said.
And it’s a memory of the best years of Charley’s life.