The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa on February 2, 1967 · Page 41
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The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa · Page 41

Algona, Iowa
Issue Date:
Thursday, February 2, 1967
Page 41
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- *"» DEATH OF A FOREfiT GIANT by Grover Brinkman ore than twenty-five years ago I passed this white oak tree, in the bottomlands of an Illinois creek. A grass fire had singed it, and the tree had died. Already some of the . smaller branches were falling, although the trunk was still dry and solid. Lumbermen for some reason passed it up, even though at this stage it would still be valuable to the logger. Five years later I chanced to pass the same spot again. The old tree was still up there, on its feet. But its trunk was denuded of most of its bark now, and most of the smaller limbs were gone as well. I tested the trunk. The rotting process was starting, but it hadn't penetrated more than the sap of the trunk. The ruggedness of the old tree was impressive. Life had left it possibly seven or eight years ago, yet during all of this time it had buffeted storms and the elements without falling. The years rolled by. I didn't get back to the old tree. I presumed it was long down. Then one day, fifteen years from the time I'd taken the last photo of it, I had a chance to make another check. I was visibly surprised. It was still standing, remarkable as it seemed. The rotting process was very evident now. Woodpeckers had bored into its trunk. It had the look of a defeated warrior. I was positive that it would fall within weeks. But it didn't. I checked with a friend, who hunted in the area. Months later he assured me it was still on its feet. Another year passed. Still there. But this Spring, when I went back to the spot, it had fallen. It had broken up, in its last ride to earth. But the trunk was still intact. I dug down with an axe — the center of it was still sound, hard and brittle. Its age, from a leaflet in the forest mould, to its death? I'm not sure. No doubt it was approaching the century mark when the fire killed it. From its death, to its fall, forty-two years elapsed. Trees are tough. This old white oak was tough as they come. Family Eun Tfc« ultimate In luxury—our MW rooms are beautifully furnished to brilliant decor. • Downtown—10 mtnufei from Airport or Railroad. • 350 Alr-Condltioned Room* with Bath. • Garage—24-hour Service. ' • Year Around Swimming Pool operated by K.C.A.C. end subject to H's rules. FIMIBS Playboy Club on 22nd floor DINING ROOM and COCKTAIL LOUNGE Famous for Charcoal Iroiltd Sttaks DIAL DIRECT— Am f IC.HA Baltimore at Eleventh Street KANSAS CITY, MO,

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