As I do now and then, I called an audible on this column. I was thinking for today to post the second of two parts of the
I was pleasantly surprised and appreciated very much that the story got so much attention – and I enjoyed and am thankful for the comments and reaction. I think we are looking at Thursday for part two of two.
But as for today I am on the subject of trees and bushes and flowering. Last fall – and some of the best places in Easton to see the autumn foliage.
Well now the buds are on the trees and the bushes – and we are going to be getting some green.
This column isn’t so much about flowers, but more heavy on the trees and bushes.
I’ve heard how many years ago, Rte. 138/Washington Street through Easton had nice borders of elm trees – which from late spring through early fall afforded the thoroughfare shade and motorists pleasing views.
Then in the mid 1950s the nasty Dutch elm disease (DED) showed up in our area and destroyed large swaths of elm trees. For sure, there aren’t many elm trees along Rte. 138 now. DED did a number.
Here is interesting information I found on Dutch elm disease at the website Elmcare.com:
Scientists believe that the fungus that causes DED originally came from the Himalayas. It travelled to Europe from the Dutch East Indies in the late 1800’s. In the 1930’s, the disease spread to North America on wooden crates made with infected elm wood.
A second introduction of the disease in North America occurred in 1945 starting in Sorel, Quebec. It destroyed over half the remaining elm trees in eastern Canada and the US. By 1976, only 34 million elm trees were left.
New strains of the disease appeared in the 1960’s in England. Within 20 years, 17 million of the country’s 23 million elm trees were dead.
We know it is spring in Easton when the massive oak tree in centerfield of Robert J. "Buddy" Wooster Field at Frothingham Park is in bloom.
Now that tree does not have as high a profile as a landmark in town as does Oakes Memorial Hall or the Civil War Monument – but it is still most certainly a well known Easton landmark.
Oliver Ames High School and the Easton Huskies baseball teams play their home games at Frothingham Park, and you know that the familiarity those players have with that tree is an advantage.
Funny, I found a Sun Chronicle online story, dated May 1, 2010, about an OA-North Attleboro baseball game at Frothingham that the Tigers won 6-5, a victory that stretched OA’s home unbeaten streak to 12 games.
Check out this gem from the story:
OA increased its lead to four runs in the third inning thanks to the famous "tree in center field," a routine flyball [sic] out, turning into a two-run single.
Gatehouse Media sports editor, John Quattrucci, wrote an excellent story, which ran in the Easton Journal last spring (on March 28) in which he talks about his Easton Farm and Little League and OA baseball playing days at Frothingham. In this excerpt from story he provides insight on the centerfield tree (which at one time had a companion out there):
The two giant oak trees in right-center field (one has since been cut down), just 200 feet from home plate. As a lefty, I loved those trees. The rules changed each year-to-year and sometimes game-to-game. One day, the rule would be that any ball hit in the tree was a ground-rule double. The next day, the rule would be “all you can get.” The poor outfielder would have to wait as the ball bounced off branches like a pinball while the runner scooted around the bases.
Of course, one of the most aesthetically pleasing areas of trees in Easton is one in which the trees are green throughout the year – and that is the beautiful and densely packed borough of white pine trees, through which a path runs, up in the Town Forest.
The pine trees were planted in the 1930s, during the Depression, by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Blossoming and fully blossomed trees and bushes are special to so many of us. They are good for the soul.
Last May, in this space, was published a column about Easton native Lisa Looney and the beautiful gardens she has grown and which she maintains at her home in Middleboro. Included in the column was this remembrance of the plants and flowers of her youth here in town:
“It was when my family was living on Andrews Street that I started being attracted to flowers,” said Lisa, 39, a long-time friend of mine. “There were wild violets along the street. And I remember one of my favorite places; it was behind the Grammar School; it was what I called a ‘secret room’ – which was really a small area bordered by three big stones, and the ‘room’ was shrouded by beautiful lilacs.
"There was Solomon Seal and celandine poppy and foxwood along Shovel Shop Pond and in the woods nearby."
So many of us have special place in town that is anchored by a tree or trees or flowering bushes.
If you will, and you are willing to share your thoughts on this special place, please provide them in the comments section which follows. And, thank you in advance.