Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Statley Sentinels Depart

Trees.  Such magnificent things.  There’s the baobab in LITTLE PRINCE, the ”Giving  Tree”story,  Joice Kilmer ‘s poem beginning, ”I think that I shall never see/A poem lovely as a tree.”  Blogger saw some spectacular trees in California not long ago, notably eucalyptus—such grand creations.  Well, the trees we will consider here were once grand, although not in such a spectacular way.  Folks who have long been familiar with the campus as well as current students easily recall the strand of trees along the side of the building.  Planted about 50 years ago, they grew in stateliness as the years passed, providing shade to many cars parked near them and later to soccer fans.  Weather and progress have not been too kind to them, however.  Recall the ice storm that marred the beauty of so many trees a few years ago, and the draught of a few recent summers that took their toll on trees.  Even before that, the excavation for the soccer field with endless moving around of huge mounds of earth managed to expose the roots of some of the trees in the strand and generally disturbed the root systems of all of them.  Earlier still 

 c. 1975

was the extension of blacktop in their direction to provide for a second lane in the driveway.  And so, to make a long story mercifully short, they had reached the point of being about one fourth their fullness and health.  Last week the tree men moved in and took all of them down.  It seemed a sad end, but a necessary one that has made room now for a new strand to be planted in the fall. 
The photos show the side of the building (original front) as it looked in 1963, then the progress of the trees that were planted early on, and finally what the side of the building looks like now.  Promise lies in the future planting.  (Blogger apologizes for the blurred photos of photos.  At least the final photo taken the other day is  sharp.)