The only thing I could think about at the committee meeting last week: what’s going to happen to them if / when they’re removed? So I asked. Hmm. Good question. Brief discussion. Maybe some sort of monument? Put it on display somewhere? Not sure.
Now a new idea about what to do with the Toomer’s Oaks is taking root: souvenirs.
“Small items such as a writing pen that’s made out of wood,” Debbie Shaw, Vice President of Auburn Alumni Affairs, told WVTM yesterday. “That is a possibility and those could be sold to help raise money for the cost of the new trees, transplanting those.”
Shaw is also the chairperson of the Committee to Determine the Future of Rolling Toomer’s Corner.
“I’ve seen gavels that are made from trees,” Shaw said. “Some people have suggested cutting the trees in slices and selling them. Personally, I tend to like the idea of choosing something small because we want as many people as possible to have the opportunity to keep a little bit of something that’s very sacred to the Auburn people.”
We doubt fans would be able to handle the meta of rolling the new trees with toilet paper made from the Toomer’s Oaks. But last January, people were selling wads of toilet paper harvested from the trees (back when they were they were the pre-poisoned, lowercase Toomer’s oaks) the morning after the national championship celebration on eBay.
Like most of the plans for the current oaks and the plans for the corner, everything is still TBD, up to TBA committees, up to public opinion (feel free to voice yours below), and ultimately—never to yield—up to the trees themselves.
But forget bronzed leaves or replica earrings or scarves made to mimic toilet paper. If it’s money they need, money they’ll get—people will be clawing for holy Toomer’s relics like Black Friday Beanie Babies.
If they do make gavels, I know who should get the first one.
Related: Here’s what the type of tree that might replace Toomer’s Corner looks like / Wire system being considered as temporary solution for rolling Toomer’s.
More on the the Toomer’s oaks: On the feasibility of a Toomer’s Corner transplant / Toomer’s Corner rollings didn’t start with Punt, Bama, Punt, says History / Did Auburn students celebrate Bear Bryant’s death by rolling Toomer’s Corner?
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Are the Oaks simply a means to an end to be exploited for their toilet paper holding capacity, or a cherished part of Auburn (both as trees and toilet paper holders) to be respected. If the first, then sure, hack away and commercialize the very soul of Auburn as we profit from Updyke’s poison. If the later, then might it be more appropriate to cremate the trees and put them to rest somewhere appropriate or at the very least build an appropriate monument that preserves the memory of the trees and tradition without capitalizing on their death.
T. C. Nomel says
I’ll be putting in an order for whatever if the price isn’t too steep.
I’ll take a Toomer’s Oak wooden ink pen.
I really kind of HATE this idea. Talk about exploitation!!!!!
I’d like to see the trees turned into something generations of the Auburn family can enjoy together. Maybe cut them into something akin to cross-ties and line the garden by the student section in JHS. We’ve left JHS to go to Toomer’s to celebrate football victories for a long time. Why not reverse that and bring what’s left of the oaks to the stadium? Just my two cents.
Why not craft a large replica and put it in the Arena, library or another primary building? It would preserve the legacy and generations would continue to enjoy the original, which would thwart the rationale behind the poisoning and reflect our resilience to the hate. I understand maybe selling memory branches, which I might buy, but an ink pen would be blasphemous, cheap and shameful.
Christie Wiley says
i really don’t want to see it leave the campus. Can’t we just repurpose it into beams, a wall, part of a display in a new construction. Example, how they took the floor under the microphone at the Ryman Auditorium and put it in the floor in the same spot at the Grand Old Opry. So all musicians can stand where all the Greats once played/sang? It should remain on campus for all to enjoy for ever!
I’m with Christie and toomersroller. I meant craft a replica from the original trees.
I’m probably alone here – so be it. And if it sounds like we’re stealing from Clemson – so be it.
Take a chunk – the stump, a cross-section of the trunk, a big, heavy rough-hewn beam – whatever. Cart it where ever it’s needed. Rub it if the team wants to. Sit it behind the bench. But it’s part of what Auburn is, and since sports are the most public display of our Family, we might as well show off what is, literally, our Family Tree.
I like 2xTiger’s idea best. A nice monument on a corner of Pat Dye Field would be awesome!
Chad Gibbs says
I vote for two huge doors that the team can walk through onto the field at J-H. Big, castle-looking doors that make for dramatic entrances, like Aragon in the Two Towers.
It’s been my fear since the beginning that we’d cut the trees up in little pieces and sell them. Not that I wouldn’t buy myself a little piece, but still.
Six Schlitzes says
I agree with Chad. Keeping with the Aragorn theme, we could then design a new symbol (to supplement the AU, Aubie Head etc.) to adorn our banners. It could be “The White Tree of Auburn.”
Dan (not) in Manila says
All great ideas, but is there any concern that these trees are full of poison? Won’t the keepsakes also have poison in them? I assumed that the trees would (sadly) be burned, because of their toxicity.
How about they be turned into benches that can be placed around Toomer’s or on Samford Lawn somewhere. That way the whole community can enjoy them and they will still be tied in close to the corner.
I agree that part of the trees should be crafted into something that can be taken wherever the Auburn family celebrates. It can be taken to another National Championship, to away games and to Auburn Club meetings around the country. The rest can be used to make some sort of a monument to go in the Lovelace Museum.
Deidre bridges says
I called and spoke with a professor in the school of agriculture months ago offering my husbands’ wood turning skills and contacts with quality turners to make many kinds of souveniers–pens, bowls, letter openers, magnifiers, wine bottle stoppers, pepper mills………it is an endless list. If the trees are used for souveniers, just please use quality wood turners who use good finishes. Details make a difference. We would still love a part in the process since I am an Auburn graduate and all three of our children have recently graduated from Auburn. Wood turned items are a wonderful way to preserve the past for generations to come. War Eagle!