Friday, April 16, 2021

RESPECTFUL WITNESSES SAID GOODBY TO A VENERABLE OAK TREE ON OCT. 1, 2008...

     
 BLOGGERS NOTE: AFTER ALL THE YEARS, I'M BEING ASKED TO POST THIS BLOG YET AGAIN, THIS 16TH OF APRIL 2021 ... APPARENTLY THIS TREE STILL LIVES IN LOCAL MEMORY:~~r. moore

IT WAS 2-27-2014, WHEN I FIRST POSTED A PHOTO ON FACEBOOK OF AN OLD OAK TREE THAT NO LONGER EXISTED. SOME PEOPLE ASKED THAT I TELL THEM MORE ABOUT THAT TREE. 
   
 BY INVITATION OF CONCORD TOWNSHIP TRUSTEES, I HAD PRESENTED THIS TRIBUTE ON OCT. 1, 2008, AT A PRE-CUTTING CEREMONY FOR THE OLD OAK TREE ON TOWN HALL CAMPUS; AND AGAIN THAT EVENING AT A MEETING OF CONCORD TWP. TRUSTEES. 
NOW THIS DAY I SHARE A DRAFT OF THAT SPOKEN TRIBUTE WITH READERS OF THIS BLOG, SO YOU TOO CAN "MEET" THAT OLD TREE THAT STOOD SO LONG AND NOW IS GONE.---Rose Moore
                                                         -------------------------

"THIS IS A EULOGY to an old friend. We are paying well-deserved respect to the old oak tree on our Town Hall campus. The tree has seen a lot of history since it sprouted in the 1600s. It sprang from a tiny acorn that perhaps was carried to this site by a chipmunk or an Indian child.
     It set its roots before the white man was present on these Great Lakes inward lands, and it was still a sapling when the French began to trade and trap and roam our forests. The oak was present here in 1795, when the Greenville Treaty deeded most of the Ohio country to the United States. 
     It was here a few years later, when General Simon Perkins' Connecticut Land Company surveyors cut the Girdled Road from Pennsylvania through this land that would become known as our New Western Reserve. And the oak was here as well when our settlers found this territory to be a land so thick and dark with trees, they had to follow creek beds to what would be their home sites.
      This oak tree had achieved some of its height and breadth in 1800, when Trumbull was established as a county in the Northwest Territory; and in 1803 when Ohio became a state; and in 1805 when Geauga County was separated from Trumbull County. And it would still be growing strong in 1840, the year Lake County would separate from Geauga, and Concord would separate from its mother Painesville Township to become a township in its own right.  
       The tree stood sturdy at its Concord Township intersection, known in early times as Wilson's Corners, when our roads were merely dusty paths along which homemade wooden wagons were pulled by oxen, and stage coaches carried human passengers and mail.
     WELL INTO ITS second century, in 1802, the tree was standing tall a mile north of Girdled Road when the Perkins Camp was host to the election that chose our delegates to the Territorial Legislature and the Ohio Constitutional Convention. In that same year, the tree was present when Concord's first settler, Thomas Jordan, purchased 100 acres along the creek now known as Jordan. There Jordan built a home and sawmill, then sent for his family, and soon many others would follow, perching their homes and water-wheel-powered mills along our many waterways.
      It was then that Concord became an industrial behemoth in the region, shipping its pioneer goods from here to Buffalo. We had the streams and up-and-down topography needed for the crucial water power, but there were difficulties in the summer droughts, and the winter freeze-ups often shut production down. When the more reliable steam power made waterwheels obsolete, Concord's industrial base faded and was replaced by farms, and the oak tree saw it all. As the 20th century moved along, the oak would be increasingly surrounded by a different sort of Concord... a residential community, as it is today.
      Our oak stood within earshot of the circuit riding preacher Rev. Ira Eddy when in 1818 he established his Methodist Episcopal Church meetings in an old log cabin near the township commons. The oak was witness when that old log cabin was followed later by a real church building for the congregation at this intersection, with sheds to shelter horses in inclement weather while families worshipped. Then the congregation merged with Methodists in nearby Painesville, and the building was demolished, but the oak still stood.
     In 1820 Concord's first adult burial, that of 38-year-old Lucinda Merrill, took place north of the intersection, well within sight of the oak. Lucinda's memorial obelisk still stands in that cemetery land, which was deeded to the township by the owners, Simeon Winchell and Zenas Wilson "for the sum of one dollar... provided their sheep were allowed to pasture there and would do no damage."
      IN 1824, WHEN Concord's first post office was established on this property, with Zenas Wilson as the postmaster, Concord's people picked up their mail there. They often rested underneath the oak and socialized with neighbors before returning home. Then in 1831, the land's original owner, Daniel Coit, who had never set foot on this land, donated the property to the community for use as a central commons. Our oak stood witness to the community's celebration of that important gift.
     In 1840 the oak stood tall enough to be observed by workers building Concord's one-room Stone School House No. 1, in a new Concord School District. The tree was visible in recent years as well, when that building was restored. The oak was present too in 1870, when this township's one-room meeting hall was built here. Today that room is still used for our meetings, as the venerable core of a much-enlarged Town Hall.
      In 1923, the oak tree watched the action across the road as students of all of Concord's one-room schools moved into a new brick central building and our schools became a part of Painesville Township School District. The happy sounds of Concord's elementary students on the playground could be heard by anyone who stood beneath the oak tree, and then in 1982 the Painesville Township Schools closed that and several other elementary buildings.
      The tree was present and still strong in 1948 when the Concord Township Fire Department was formed, and it watched as that department and our road department grew steadily, and facilities were built for both.
        In 1971, our Concord families gathered in the shadow of the oak tree for our first Concord Community Day, with its simple family games, hot dog roast and fire-hose fight between the firefighters of Concord and Leroy. That same year, the Big Creek Civic Association funded and built the playground that still exists near the tree.    
      On Aug. 31, 1975, as the U.S. Bicentennial Celebration approached, the tree was proudly present when the joint event merged Community Day with a dedication ceremony for our big addition to Town Hall. This was also the date of our first Community Day parade. Soon Community Day would be an annual event and consist of an entire weekend.
       IN THE 1980s, as the tree showed signs of age-related stress, trustees began a trimming and fertilization program advised by arborists. This increased the old tree's lifespan by at least three decades.
        Within the past few years, the tree slipped into a swift, unstoppable decline and presented dangers to the people who were drawn to it. Concord built a fence around it to protect it and the public. Some acorns from this great old oak tree were given to the Holden Arboretum, with hopes a sapling could be raised from the acorns.
     And now this evening, with the life-blood fully gone from the old tree's roots and branches, the unavoidable removal of its skeletal remains are scheduled. We hereby choose to note the tree's demise and formally honor it's long presence here and its entwinement with and witness to our history. And we say a sad goodbye.
 
POSTSCRIPT: IN THE EARLY MORNING AFTER THIS SPEECH, I WITNESSED THE NECESSARY CUTTING OF THE TREE. MANY MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY WERE THERE AS WELL, AND TRUSTEE CONNIE LUHTA GAVE THE TREE A HUG BEFORE THE WORK COMMENCED. I DOCUMENTED THAT MOMENT WITH A PHOTOGRAPH, WHICH I HAVE ATTACHED TO THIS BLOG FOR YOUR VIEWING.  
I'VE ALSO INCLUDED THE "THROWBACK THURSDAY" PHOTO OF TWO LITTLE GIRLS WITH THE TREE. THE GIRLS HAVE GROWN INTO ADULTHOOD NOW; THE TREE IS GONE!--Rose Moore

Saturday, April 10, 2021

AN APRIL DAY ALONG MY CREEK ...

 



THIS IS WHERE I LOVE TO SPEND MY TIME ON PLEASANT APRIL DAYS;
OR WHEN I MAY BE LOOKING FOR A PEACEFUL PLACE TO PRAY."

~~Rose Moore, April 2021

Monday, April 5, 2021

AS THE NEW DAY ARISES ...







 "Look for the good things around us; the beauty as it occurs; do not let it sneak past us, unnoticed ... " ~~Rose Moore

Friday, March 12, 2021

COLD WINTER THOUGHTS FROM AN OCTAGENERIAN ME ...

 "GOT SNOW?"... Meet my middle granddaughter Katie, whose version of Paradise seems to revolve around snow. Snow and cold do not bother her; she loves winter & big hills & moving fast downward through snow on a snowboard! ... She can't get enough of it! ...

(Ah, to be young again! Snow was once magical, too, for the much-younger ME. ... I, too, was drawn to the snow; to the cold; to tobogganing, ice-skating, long walks in the snow & building snow people ... I, too, waited impatiently for the good things of winter and snow! ...

(Who KNEW that senior "crepe-paper skin" would one day make me cringe at the THOUGHT of contact with COLD snow, COLD wind ... or COLD-outdoor-ANYthing?!! ... )






Tuesday, January 26, 2021

GOD SENDS COMPENSATIONS FOR THE WINTER COLD ...

    I KNOW THE COLD, dark days of winter hold expense and work and some discomfort for us all. And so I've long since trained my eyes to spot the beauties of the season; for they provide good compensation for the cold.  

For me, the moonlit nights are prime among the compensations, at least when skies are clear and generous enough to let us see them. When winter moonlight wakes me from my sleep, I rise to watch it from my windows as it spreads its glow like frozen silver upon an ice-bound creek; and reflects its light upon the trunks of snow-glazed trees along the water.  

   Along the roof edge of my house, icicles formed by weeks of unrelenting cold fill up with moonlight, and it shines into my eyes like crystal. When the moon's not over-bright, the stars will join the show against the darkness of the sky. After quiet moments of appreciation, I inhale the view and then go back beneath warm covers, and I sleep in peace.

   THE DARKEST PERIOD of the winter night---a time few people seem to know---lies in the pre-dawn hour when the moon has set. I, an early riser, will sometimes walk outside to lean against the dark, tall trees around me; and the stars against the depth of darkness seem large and close enough that I could touch them, like apples on a tree. 

   Then and there, I thank God for the winter beauty. I do not curse the season; even though I'm wide awake and well aware of one true thing: It's COLD!

(Many people tell me they love all the seasons of our beautiful Ohio; except for winter. I can tell them truly; I appreciate them all.) --Rose Moore, Jan. 2021

Sunday, January 10, 2021

COMFORT OF AN UNEXPECTED SUNNY WINTER DAY

  IN THE UNFAMILIAR BRIGHTNESS OF THIS JANUARY SUNDAY,

I love the sunny gleam upon the tree trunks ...

the happy sparkle on creek waters as they move downstream ...

the mellow shadows tossed upon the ground, even in the woodland ...

the warmth of sun upon my skin as I relax upon the window seat ...

The Lord does send His comforts in sad and stressful times, if we're open to them
...
Starting with His smile of encouragement, from the morning sky.

DAYBREAK PHOTO ... ON A SUNNY JANUARY SUNDAY IN THE DARK, SAD, STRESSFUL TIME OF POLITICS AND COVID 19 VIRUS ...

Thursday, December 3, 2020

WINTER NIGHT ...

"WINTER! At no time of the year are the skies of night more beautiful.
The pure cold air of night brings crystal skies; the stars seem larger; they sparkle individually, reflecting mirror-like into the frieze of ice along the western eaves, where I view them from a window seat.
As the moon moves high, its brightness unimpeded, it spreads its gleam against the snow and lights the moving waters of the creek. The night is peace and beauty.
If you ask how I could love the winter, how I could tolerate the cold against my aging skin, this is a reason why.

The magic of the winter night. "~~Rose Moore, after midnight