Tale of Kennewick's Christmas weed continues

KENNEWICK -- Kennewick's Christmas "weed," a roadside decoration that has been lost, found and lost again, is back again.

The Mexican firebush, adorned with ornaments and tiny lights, was missing late Thursday after being relocated from near the Columbia Center mall to a less busy site at Grandridge Boulevard and Rio Grande Avenue.

Instead of being stolen, as Katy Higgs feared, the tiny Christmas tree was picked up by well-meaning Brock Ruby who saw it toppled over Thursday afternoon.

Higgs, who had placed the first ornament on the weed when it was near the mall on a traffic island, said she was thrilled it was not a victim of vandalism.

Ruby called the Tri-City Herald on Friday morning.

"I'm the Grinch who took it, but only because I thought I could give it a better base so it wouldn't fall over," he said.

Ruby repotted the weed, which had been in a used 16-ounce paper coffee cup, and took it back to the Rio Grande Avenue corner where he found it.

He also wrapped the base in Christmas paper and put up a Merry Christmas sign.

"I'm glad the weed is back and that everyone can have a Merry Christmas," Higgs said.

Well, maybe not everyone.

And at last report from Herald readers, a Grinch doll had been placed where the Christmas weed originally sprouted near Canal Drive and Columbia Center Boulevard before it was declared a hazard and removed by a city crew.