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Shoe Art: Resurrecting a Dead Red Maple

Joe Langley, a retired transportation engineer, has plenty to think about: Such as whether his tree's limbs are arms or legs. He chose legs.

If a tree had arms or legs, what would its limbs be?

At the corner of Upland and Clivden in Sudbrook Park, one dead, red maple in Joe Langley's yard has legs and stockings. Oh—and shoes.

"It was dead, so I started taking the branches off," said Langley. "And then as I worked my way down, they are limbs, right? And they are naked. I thought the tree might be embarrassed."

That's when he decided that adding his dancer friend's tights to his dead tree would clothe it, and add some color.

"But then it needed shoes," he said. "It is quirky."

Quirky is right. One section has three legs, with three matching New Balance running shoes. Of course, that includes two left feet.

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And other branches sport Orioles slippers or worn-out women's dance shoes.

Langley, a guitarist for A.P. & The Banty Roosters, a Contra band, is a retired transportation engineer.

He worked at the State Highway Administration and the Virginia Department of Transportation.

While he's done with engineering work, his yard art still isn't complete. And he said he wants Pikesville Patch readers to share in the fun.

The piece needs a name, he said. So he's taking suggestions. Post them in the comments section under this article, because he'll be keeping an eye on it.

And he has a dream to include horse shoes—or pony shoes—if pony shoes are made somewhere. If you have some, bring them by an he'll switch them out.

So far, his unique yard art has been received in only positive ways, he said, and there have been no complaints from neighbors.

However, some friends have told him he has too much time on his hands.

That may be partly true. Langley responds: "Whenever I think that I need to do something, I go take a nap."

A.P. & The Banty Roosters performs from 8:30-11 p.m. Friday at Glen Echo park in Montgomery County.

Can you think of a name for the shoe tree? Other than "Shoe Tree?" Be creative—or not. Post it in the comments section! If you need an imaginative Facebook profile photo, bring a friend and a camera, stand on your hands and—Snap. If you stop by the shoe tree, post your photos to this story.

HG May 25, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Mutant Skydivers #FAIL.
Janet Metzner May 25, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Good one!
Philip Bogdonoff May 26, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Foot Rest
Janet Metzner May 27, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Philip, Love it! Here are some that Joe Langley himself came up with: "Tight's Tree," "Shoe Tree," "St. Vitus's Dance Tree," "Joe's Got Brain Damage."

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