Friday, September 09, 2005

A Symbol of Hope

OK, so I know I said I would not post about the hurricane any more, but this is different.

When I was a kid, we'd go visit my grandparents in Long Beach, Miss., about every 4-6 months or so. It was always a big deal, an 8 hour drive, that Dad did in one run, with a bunch of No-Doz and some packed lunches Mom brought. Kit and I would fight in the back seat (no seat belts, hey, it was the 70's!) and Dad's way of stopping the fights was to reach his VERY long arm back and just swat whatever legs he came into contact with. Typical family road trip. (Except we were always in a Citroen and we had at least two German Shepherds in the back as well, if we were in the DS Station Wagon, and the dogs would hang over our shoulders and drool on us.)

Anyhow, one of the highlights of any trip to Mississippi for me, was the drive from Bay St. Louis, through Pass Christian (pronounced Pass Christ-Tee-ANN) and along the beach road, ending up at Omi and Opi's house, which was one block off the beach. We would pass the gorgeous old ante-bellum homes, the white white beaches, the still noticeable remains of Hurricane Camille. I knew, however that tbest was yet to come.
After unloading the car, getting settled, etc., I would start bugging my parents to take me to "The Tree". There was this immense oak tree up the road from Omi and Opi's house, huge in an almost Gargantuan manner. It started growing around the time Christopher Columbus was doing his thing. It had decks built around and in it, and I loved that tree like anything. I always liked to think about the history that had unfolded while the tree stolidly grew and grew and grew.

I've been thinking about that tree after Hurricane Katrina, wondering if it was ok. A bit of 'net research and I found this article. It's about the tree. My tree. The Friendship Oak.

Am I a total dork that after reading so much about the Hurricane, its aftermath and the victims, that it's this article, about a tree, that made me cry? I hadn't cried yet, but this article, man, it started the waterworks. Funny how we react to things.

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