Vivian A. Brown, Popular S.F. Twin Who Died, Gets Her Own City Tree

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The Brown twins
Tomorrow, the city will plant a new tree both in honor of Arbor Day and the late Vivian A. Brown, the older of the darling Brown twin sisters who were known to promenade around San Francisco in matching outfits, including cowboy hats and fur coats.

Mayor Ed Lee along with Supervisor Norman Yee and other city folks have decided to plant a Calocedrus decurrens, more commonly known as a California incense cedar, in honor of Brown. A native of California and other western states, the species can reach 100 feet at maturity.

Brown's twin sister, Marian B. Brown, hopes to be there for the 1 p.m. planting ceremony where the tree will be lowered into the ground by a crane. The tree will be located at Sloat Boulevard and Cranleigh Drive.

"What a wonderful way to celebrate my dear, dear sister," said Marian Brown who is eight minutes older than Vivian.

Vivian Brown died Jan. 9 at age 85. The identical sisters were best known for dressing just like twins, wearing fashion outfits that made them standout in a city that prides itself on irreverence. The duo quickly became local celebrities and a must-see for tourists; even local journalists had to pony up a lot of cash to get some face time with the twins.

The sisters were inseparable until last year when Vivian was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and admitted into a facility where she lived until she died.

"We were honored to have Vivian Brown choose San Francisco as her home and grace us for so long, and now we have a chance to honor her with a living tribute -- a wonderful tree that will be enjoyed for generations," Mayor Lee said. "She represented the best of the City."

Every year, the city plants a tree to honor someone dear to San Francisco; past honorees include Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez, Ruth Asawa, Dr. Ellen Wolf, Dana Woldow, Charlie Starbuck, and Wangari Maathai.

California's official celebration of trees lasts one week, running through March 14.On Saturday, the city's Department of Public Works will host a Community Clean Team event from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., cleaning and greening District Seven neighborhoods.In addition, city crews and volunteers will plant 70 trees along the Junipero Serra Boulevard median and sidewalks and 19th Avenue sidewalks. Other trees in the area will be pruned, and tree basins will be spruced up.

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