Sooner or later, the last report of a bicenO ten niai aberration will reach us. Until then, we continue to feel it a moral obligation to keep our readersin touch with some of the stranger things that went on out there during the country’s two hundredth birthday.
Take, for example, the triumph over one of nature’s wonders that occurred in Pioneer. Ohio, a town of some one thousand souls. Pioneer, it seems, has been noted over the years for the unusually fine black walnut trees in its vicinity—especially one tree! It was estimated to be somewhere between 180 and two hundred years old and, inevitably, was dubbed the “Bicentennial Tree.” Described as the most perfect black walnut tree in the nation, it stood more than 130 feet high, and its first 57 feet rose as straight and true as a Grecian column. “It was majestic.” Ohio state forest officer Roger Herrett rhapsodized to a New York Times reporter. “I’ve seen perfect logs 20 feet long, but to have this perfectness spread over 57 feet, well, as old George Gobel said. ‘They don’t make them kind anymore.’”
The “Bicentennial Tree” was regarded with such enthusiasm that in December, 19TU. its owners put it up for sale. The lucky purchaser, the Atlantic Veneer Corporation of Beaufort. North Carolina, placed its value at $30,000. a company spokesman exclaiming, “I’ve known about this tree for fifteen years… it is very unlikely that there would be another one like this, very unlikely.” The tree was forthwith cut down, its perfect trunk bedecked with a suitably patriotic ribbon, and then shipped off to the company’s plant, where it was scheduled to be sliced into two thousand board feet of walnut veneer, almost enough, the Times remarked, to cover three acres of land. Precisely which three acres was not noted.