Officially Endorsed By Dean O. Torrence (c)2004-2014 MGA
Updated whenever we can!!!
There is in the Heartland of America, a living memorial to one of the founders of the California Sound of the 1960's. This memorial to Jan Berry, considered by some to be the creative force behind Jan & Dean, has been established through the efforts of many of their fans.
I began this tribute by seeking and winning the approval of the City Council of my hometown, Cottonwood Falls, Kansas in March of 2005 . I chose an ornamental pear tree which was planted on June 1, 2005 at a site just to the West of our city swimming pool, which as a teenager was my second home and my poor substitute for the beach and surf that I longed to live by. My beach was the pool and my surfboard was my trusty skateboard, one of only two in the entire county in the mid sixties.
In late March of 2006, his first Spring, "Jan" put on a very pretty show of lovely little white flowers tinged in pink. During his second summer, "Jan," with weekly waterings, thrived and has decided to introduce two more branches.
What a great looking memorial, I am sure Jan thinks its really cooooool
Hope we get a chance to meet someday
Keep in touch
The second step in the making of this memorial, was the ordering of the granite marker and it's engraving. This was accomplished and I had the marker on August 19. Then on Monday, August 22, 2005, the memorial marker was set in a small, private dedication ceremony.
After the setting of the marker, I emailed Dean three of the photos with a little explaination as to what we have done. I was thrilled when on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2005, I opened my email and was honored to found a special email from Dean.
I feel that the inscription on the marker says in a few words what most of Jan's fans feel about his life after the accident. He did prove everyone wrong, you can come back and he showed the world by doing just that.
Here is an interesting little story. About the last week of July 2005, I noticed a small branch emerging from one of the old branch scars on the trunk of Jan's tree, which I have christened "Jan." The little branch is about 2 foot below the lower branch on the young tree. It is quite unusual for a tree to spout a new branch out of one of the scars of a previous branch. But here is the little branch, stubborn and strong willed (remind you of anyone?), sporting 4 strong leaves. You can see by the black arrows how the little miracle branches have grown over the last year and a half.
When I first noticed the branch, I truly felt in my heart that it was a sign from Jan letting us know that he was pleased and proud of this memorial tribute to their music, his talents and determination, the inspiration he became to the world and to his memory.
I wish that all the visitors that view this memorial could know and understand what I feel this stubborn little branch represents. Eventually the branch will have to be removed so that the mature shape of the tree will be pleasing, but I'm going to l eave the little branch, "Jan's miracle branch" for a few years.
As you can see by the photo taken in late Summer 2006, "Jan" has truly thrived. Despite the long and very hot Kansas summer, he's filled out quite well for such a young tree. The white arrows show the two small limb buds that have appeared, despite this long hot summer.
The memorial has been dedicated to Jan's memory from his fans around the world.
If you are ever in Chase County, stop by the Courthouse, ask for me and together we'll visit this memorial, the only memorial to Jan Berry in the world. We'll spend a few moments reflecting upon the music and the genius that was Jan Berry.
Click on the photos to view a larger format of the photo.
Photos by my friend, Roger Weaver.
Late Summer 2006
Late Summer 2006
There will soon be available a Jan Berry Memorial brochure
Click NEXT to see finished memorial