Xerri's Xmas Trees News
X-Men have nothing on this Exeter ex-Ford worker
By SCOTT NEINAS
name start with the letter ‘x' isn't exactly easy.
Xerri has dealt with it for 61 years. The Exeter Township resident
has a farm on W. Newburg Rd. and sells, of all things, X-mas trees.
What would you
(pronounced sherri) said his family name originates in the island
nation of Malta, which is in the Mediterranean Sea, just south of
exited the country as a merchant marine and ended up in Detroit,
along with several other Maltese. And although a name beginning with
an "x" may not be the norm here, in Malta, the name was fairly
"A lot of them,
when they came here, changed the spelling to "sh," but I'm glad my
dad never did," said Mr. Xerri.
States was a Xanadu of sorts for the Maltese. The Xerris moved to
Carleton where they bought a farm. Mr. Xerri had a good childhood
and young adulthood, except he was always the only kid in his class
with an "x" in his name. When he was in the Army, where everything
is done in alphabetical order, he was always last, no exceptions.
After the Army,
Mr. Xerri worked for Ford Motor Co. at the Woodhaven Stamping Plant.
It was then that he bought property in Exeter and started planting
"I needed a tax
write-off," Mr. Xerri said.
But now that
he's an ex-Ford employee in retirement, Mr. Xerri operates his X-mas
tree business as a full-time job.
instead of his last name acting as a hex, he uses it to his
advantage. Xerri's X-mas Trees is an eye-catching name for a
business, although Mr. Xerri took some heat for not using the word
"A lot of
people don't like that," said Mr. Xerri.
While having a
name that starts with an "x" makes some things harder, there are
some exceptions. For example, his name is easy to find in the phone
"We were the
only "x" in the phone book for 30 or 40 years," he said.
Now there are
two extra names that start with the 24th letter.
doesn't help people who don't have the expertise in knowing how to
spell his name.
think it's spelled with an "sh," Mr. Xerri said.
Which is why it
can be taxing for his wife, Shirley.
"Some think her
name is Sherri," Mr. Xerri said.
All in all,
though, having an X-mas tree farm in Exeter is going excellent for
"I could have
planted corn and soybeans, but I went with Christmas trees, and I'm
glad I did," said Mr. Xerri.