What do you see in the trunks of the Toomers Corner Oaks. Some will see tigers and eagles and all sorts of Auburn related things. What do I see? I see the trunk of a tree. The remnants of generations. The rings that remind you of that time your mother, father or grandparent introduced you to a football tradition. I see the rings of families sharing a common bond, a sense of togetherness that is lost in today's technological world. There is no magic or Devine intervention in the rings of this tree, just memories of passion and laughter....and even tears at the bond that so many families shared. These trees are replaceable. These trees are not the loss of a loved one. These trees are simply a representation of something that spanned generations. Traditions are just events. Events that are created to bring people together without regard to class or status. Traditions make us whole, one community with a common event that brings happiness. There is no black or white at the Toomers oaks. There is no rich or poor. Ther is that one insignificant event that makes life somewhat enjoyable in today's crazy world.
What I hate about the action that Updyke did was not that he destroyed a tree or that he destroyed a tradition, its that he destroyed something that brought generations of people together. The trees are not sacred and neither is the flag, but we treat it as such because it is something that is not tainted by political party, race, religion or who you sleep with. It is a symbol of something we all can get behind and all support. War Eagle and Roll Tide is as much about family and America as any symbol. What happened to those beloved trees is not an environmental crime or even a crazed lunatic sought on revenge....it was a crime against us. A crime against the one thing that makes America great.....sharing a moment without judgement. The corner will survive without the treas and the tradition will evolve as needed, but the feeling of loss and the feeling that great things will always come to an end at the hands of one individual is ever so evident. Shame on you Harvey Updyke, not for destroying a football tradition, but ending the innocence of so many young fans.