The Senator Saga – another update

The Senator” is the nickname of what was a 3500 year old Cypress Tree in Big Tree Park in Longwood Florida.  Sadly, it burned down in January of 2012 when a drug addict lit a fire in the hollow at the base of the tree because “it was dark and she wanted light to see the drugs she was using.”.  The culprit confessed and is expected to be sentenced shortly to either probation or a few months in prison.
I’ve written several blog articles about this and I hope you’ll forgive me for writing one more:
The latest chapter in this story is even more personal and began in December of last year when someone posted a comment on this  photo of the Senator on Flickr asking if I’d be willing to sell a copy of the image.  Tony Seifred and I exchanged a few emails, and to make a long story short we also ended up exchanging gifts.  I gave Tony copies of two photographs of the Senator and he gave me a piece of the tree itself!  I’ll let Tony tell his side of the story:
“Back when the tree burned, NPR covered the story the following morning.  Within an hour I was cold calling county personnel and getting passed from one person to another.  I was trying to encourage them to make offerings to school systems for educational purposes.
After many months I received an email that the decision had been made to take applications for remains.  I contacted my local schools and museum trying to get them to apply.  I even provided the applications.  No one applied.
So I decided to try on my own.  Eventually I did receive a piece of the outer part of the tree, but pick-up had to be in person.  The story after that is long and convoluted but eventually did find someone there to accept payment to collect and ship the piece. Upon arrival the box was open and the piece had clearly been out.
Despite the rather expensive UPS store packing.  Some pieces were broken off and still inside the wrapping. I am gifting you the largest of those pieces.”
Kudos to Tony for pursuing this and making it happen.  I had the piece mounted together with the photo I made before it burned.  Here’s how it looks:
A shadowbox display of a photo of the 3500 year old Cypress tree in September of 2011 before it burned along with a small piece of the remains from after it burned down in January of 2012.
A shadow box display of a photo of the 3500 year old Senator Cypress tree in September of 2011 along with a small piece of the remains from after it burned down in January of 2012.
This means a great deal to me and I’ll treasure it as a reminder of visits to the Senator before the tragedy.  I’m exceptionally grateful to Tony for his generosity in sharing with me.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.
©2014, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

8 thoughts on “The Senator Saga – another update

  1. Good to read this follow-up to the sad story, and great to know there are folk who revere Nature in the way you do.

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