Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Wooden you just know it

If you read the novella "The Shawshank Redemption" by Stephen King, you remember the part where Red Redding (Morgan Freeman in the movie) follows clues to the location of a certain tree, which was described to him by his old prison sidekick Andy DuFresne (Tim Robbins).  Andy had told Red that the tree was where he had proposed to his wife (and we know how she ended up!) Red finds the tree, digs up a letter and bus money to get to Mexico and things turn out nicely for everyone but the warden.

In the original story, the tree was located in Buxton, Maine, but when they made the movie, they found a tree in Mansfield, Ohio, and I can't tell Maine from Ohio anyway.  It's only 810 miles away! So the tree you see in the movie was in Ohio, and that's the only place you'll see that white oak anymore, beside your imagination, because it's down. Five years ago, a lightning strike weakened it, and last week, high winds finished it off.

Jodie Snavely with the Mansfield & Richland County Convention and Visitors Bureau (a branch office, I suppose...) says, "It's a sad day for Shawshank fans." I was surprised to read that the tree and the field where it sat became an international tourist destination.

People even Tweeted their Twitter (and you should try that soon!) to hope that something good will be made of the wood. 
My suggestion would be to go out on a limb and make a life-size statue of Rita Hayworth.

"I have had a chance to see the tree and if it's a stump left, I'm sure people will still come see it because hope is a good thing, and a good thing never dies," Snavely says. 

In Maryland, the venerable old white oak tree called the Wye Oak down in Talbot County was really down in Talbot County after a thunderstorm in 2002. It was the largest such tree in America and was 460 years old.  I'm not saying it was old, but Dick Van Dyke was there when they planted it!  

Now it's a desk in the governor's office in Annapolis, where politicians never know when to leave, and can't cedar forest for the trees. I don't have any more tree puns, so I guess I willow you one.

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