{Like a} Funeral for a Friend

I woke up Tuesday morning feeling sick to my stomach. Feeling as if I was missing the funeral for my best friend. That yearning in my heart that told me, “Let me see them one more time.” It’s terrible, gut-wrenching. Knots form as I try not to ponder the thought that the Toomer’s Oaks will start to be trimmed away little by little until they take that chainsaw one last time and slice it through the bottom of that thick, thick trunk and let it plummet to the ground. Lifeless, haggard…dead.

I watched (on live webcam) all morning as they put up barricades, brought the lift trucks in along with a large cavernous truck where all the limbs and finally the two trunks would be dropped. I’m not sure what I was wanting to see, or what I was hoping for. Maybe that little bit of closure I was seeking deep within. Officials said it would take about 2 hours, but at about 11am they were still cutting off each limb one-by-one. Around 12 when I checked back, they had just cut down the tree on the left, the larger of the two. So I sat there and watched as they cut the final cut on the rigbt-side tree. What I observed wasn’t helping me have any bit of closure and something told me I just needed to drive down to the corner and see if for myself. I grabbed my cameras, raced down to as close as I could get to the corner, and after having to wrap the block a few times, finally found a parking space. I was really hoping to get a shot of both trunks laying there, but by the time I made my way over, the bigger of the trees had already been placed in the truck for transport.

Here’s a sped up video of the entire process from the webcam.

This is what I saw when I arrived at the corner.
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The lifeless tree just laying there for viewing.
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Removing the fancy boxes that were placed over the new eagles for protection since they recently replaced the tattered ones that had been there since 1961.
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By the time I got there much of the media entourage was gone.
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The crew getting pics with the last tree.
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I decided to go ahead and stroll back to my car and daydream back to the good times spent under the trees, when I saw this…

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I stood there and my face wrinkled up, and tears rolled down my face. I broke down. Maybe this was the closure I needed. Seeing that last trunk be lowered down into that truck that would later transport all the remains to an undisclosed location. I had a lump in my throat, a brick in my tummy, and a wretched look upon my face. It was all real now. Looking at the new empty spaces there at Toomer’s corner was more than I could handle right then, but it was the closure I needed.

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See all the pics I took here.

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