The Evergreen Tree that took the life of Congressman Sonny Bono, who first stepped into the spotlight as half of the singing duo Sonny and Cher, has died after ten years of people nailing messages to Sonny on it. It was 47. The evergreen tree was 47, not Sonny Bono who was 62 when he died.
He would be in his mid-seventies by now. Sonny Bono, that is.
His former wife, Cher, is 62. Sonny's, not the tree's, former wife. Although some parts of Cher may be made of wood.
Bono, an avid skier, was reported missing about 4:30 p.m. at Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe, California. The resort is about 55 miles (88 km) southwest of Reno, Nevada, on the California-Nevada state line. A ski patrol searched the Nevada side of the mountain and found the body some two hours later.
So that was the day the tree began dying too, January 6th, 1997.
Lt. Ross Chichester said the preliminary investigation indicated that it was an accident. He added that the cause of death was Sonny Bono hitting the poor thing at a high speed.
The main lodge manager at Heavenly Ski Resort told The Associated Press that Bono was skiing alone at the top of the Orion slope when he crossed beneath a chairlift and hit the tree.
"I think the tree would have survived the terrific nailing by Bono if his fans hadn't nailed it also, with all those notes. The tree couldn't help it, it was just standing there."
"I hope Bono's family is happy NOW!" sobbed the manager.