Suzanne and Company Holiday House Tour – A Winner

A welcoming front porch on Bedford’s 2012 Suzanne and Company Holiday House Tour

By Julie McCay Turner

According to organizers Maureen Sullivan and Suzanne Koller, the 2012 Suzanne and Company Holiday House Tour was a great success in several ways: there were wonderfully decorated houses, plenty of visitors and an eleven-time winner.

Each year Sullivan adds an identical knickknack to each of the homes on the tour, and invites the first guest who identifies it to call the Chamber of Commerce office and win tickets to the next year’s tour.

Eleven-time winner, Florence Pollock (Courtesy photo)
Eleven-time winner, Florence Pollock (Courtesy photo)

For this and for the past 11 years, the winner has been Bedfordite Florence Pollock, who has often been the very first caller as well. “I just don’t know how she figures it out so fast,” said Sullivan, the Executive Director of the Bedford Chamber of Commerce and organizer of the annual tour.

“I really don’t begin to enjoy the houses until I’ve found the object,” said Pollock this week. “I am concentrating too hard, looking at all the things on shelves and tables, but not on the tree.”

With her photographic memory, Pollock usually knows which object will mean the prize by the time she visits the second house. But this year she was stumped. “The same stuffed Santa was in the first two houses we visited,” she said, “and so I called.” When the Santa wasn’t in the third house, Pollock remembered a stuffed snowman with a carrot nose that was in all three houses and called a second time—this time to win.

Music was added to the tour this year. There were carolers in the sitting room at Fitch Tavern and the Bedford String Quartet entertained guests during the tour’s final stop, a holiday tea at First Church of Christ, Congregational where guests entered through the church’s newly-refurbished sanctuary where a Tree of Jesse stands. Click to see more photographs from the tour.

The homes on this year’s tour featured a locally-grown Christmas tree that soared well into a cathedral ceiling; a handsome young tour guide named Ryan; a grand collection of antique tools; a welcoming front porch decorated for the holidays; and a peek inside historic Fitch Tavern.

Bedford realtor Suzanne and Company sponsored the Holiday House Tour for the first time this year. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of tour tickets benefits the Charles Hume Scholarship, given annually to a graduating Bedford High School senior.

Editor’s Note: According to Interim Pastor at First Church, The Rev. Dr. M. Elizabeth “Betsy” Waters, “The Tree of Jesse is a depiction in art of the ancestors of Christ, shown in a tree which rises from Jesse of Bethlehem, the father of King David.   Each of the ornaments symbolizes a story on the journey from promise to the Incarnation,  to the birth of Christ.    Not all versions use the same symbols, but each version tells the ancient story in a new way.”

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