Tree stump surprise for TMP-Marian grads

Margaret Allen
TMP-Marian maintenance worker Steve Werth began carving Saturday on a cedar tree stump on the campus to create the Catholic school's logo.

HAYS–Thomas More Prep-Marian maintenance worker Steve Werth took a chainsaw to a tall cedar stump on the grounds of the private Catholic school last Saturday morning, and by afternoon he’d carved out a three-dimensional TMP logo.

By Sunday afternoon he’d nearly finished painting it the signature Monarch mascot blue and white colors of the junior-senior high school.

“I mean, over the weekend it was just a stump, and the next thing I know I got this done here,” Werth said Saturday, pausing the saw. “I’ll put a couple more coats on between now and graduation, just make it a little brighter.”

Werth said he got the idea when he heard the Knights of Columbus group was cutting down the big tree that stands sentry across from the Al Billinger Fieldhouse at the stop sign intersection of Fr. Earl Befort Drive and Joe Hertel Court.

It’s not the first time he’s made artistic school logos, but previously they’ve been one-dimensional spray paintings on the sprawling grassy lawn or on the paved parking lot.

This was Werth’s first try at a sculpture, done without making a pattern or even much calculating, he said.

“I just took a tape measure, and I tried to figure out center, and everything was just roughed in. I just winged it,” he said. “I told the wife, once I start, if I mess up, there’s no going back. So that’s all I did was just wing it and hope for the best.”

There are still remnants of the cedar tree bark in a couple of spots, as well as a little nick from the chainsaw going too deep.

“There’s a gauge in here, but I don’t know how to fill it,” he said. “But I didn’t want to make it any smaller.”