March 19th, 2008

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Dude, Where's My Tree?

I felt like going for a ride after work tonight. I ended up riding for 120 miles. I thought recently about the tree I planted as a 4th-grader at Green Acres Elementary school in 1978 or '79. I last saw it about five years ago. I brought my camera to take video to show you all my tree which I planted from the seed, then transplanted on the school grounds. I saw it when buzzing by Santa Cruz on Google Earth recently...

...but it's NOT THERE NOW! Dude, where's my tree?

It is circled in this picture, but neither it nor the tree farthest to the left in that picture is present anymore. I asked a janitor, and he said the tree farthest right had fallen in the recent storms, but he didn't know what happened to my tree. There's a depression in the ground where my tree was. Wah!

I saw another tree that I thought might be mine (and show it in the video), but that one can be seen on Google Earth, so it can't be. My tree is just GONE! I wonder if the storms claimed it as well as that bigger one. When I transplanted the tree, I didn't dig a very good hole, and left the sapling at a slight angle. "No worries," said little me, "plants always right themselves." True, but when I saw the tree about five years ago, one could see its trunk had an "elbow", coming out of the ground still at the angle I transplanted it, then bending straight up from there. I wonder if that had anything to do with its recent demise. It's depressing! My tree is no more! Wah!

At the end of the video, I show a little bit of a vintage 1917 steam locomotive that I used to play on as a kid, before people thought it was a bad idea to let kids pretend to be train engineers and operate all the levers and the boiler door and delegate jobs to one another -- that they were better off playing on plastic slides instead. Yawn.

Came back over Highway 9, which I hadn't taken in years. Nice ride. Meant to go into the Campbell side of Saratoga for food but made a wrong turn and ended up headed toward Cupertino. After a bit of thought, I finally knew where to go. In the years I lived in Cupertino, I had never gone to Yoshinoya, so now I have finally! I had a shrimp bowl. Yummy.