I hope those of you who were unhappy about the tree stumps wrapped in caution tape and sticking out of the downtown sidewalks are feeling a bit more serene these days. During the past two weeks, the city had the tree stumps ground off and dirt packed around the roots. Cement was poured into the voids and smoothed one day last week.
Mission accomplished. The Bradford pears are gone.
What seemed like a good idea back in about 1990 went awry. It turned into a nightmare of bird droppings, heaping mounds of leaves that blew into the businesses every fall, and huge overgrown trees that defied every attempt to keep them the manageable size they were supposed to be.
There were a few years when they were attractive and added to the ambiance of the downtown. However, the negative features soon out-numbered the good things about them and they were hard to defend. The destruction of the concrete slabs in the sidewalk was the last straw, and the trees had to go before the city faced a lawsuit.
Nonetheless, I did like them when they were first put in. I think they softened the look of all the concrete and asphalt and in the summer, and patches of shade were nice. While I would like to see the trees replaced one day with a less aggressive variety, I am glad the Bradford pears are gone. I am glad the stumps and the caution tape are gone and I am glad we got the sidewalks repaired.
I hope someone will think to tell the guy who, several months ago, wandered into Pop’s Diner and asked the coffee crowd when the city was going to get around to cutting down “those trees.” If you remember, his question came a week or so after they had been removed and he caught some flak from me in this opinion column.
Someone should do him a favor and clue him in. I would hate for him to make the same mistake twice!
A group of American Legion members and volunteers got together Sunday evening and put the flags in the flag holders on the downtown light poles to mark the Fourth of July celebration. Kudos for a job well done. They look terrific and the rest of us appreciate their efforts.
Anyone flying the flag during this or any other holiday should be sure to review the rules about doing it right. An informative Internet site is http://www.usflag.org. If you are unsure about how to fly the flag at your home, in a parade, or in any other situation, find out about flag etiquette before you fly it.
One final thing — when the American Legion color guard passes at the beginning of the parade you need to stand, remove your hat, and place your hand over your heart until they pass by. Remember, we are celebrating our Independence — our freedom — and it’s a “Grand Old Flag” for which millions have fought and died.
It deserves your respect.
— SUSAN MARSHALL