Progress. Time marches on and a tree is gone. In a matter of minutes, gone, just like that.
The yellow pine that has marked the center of New Hope was cut down this week, making way for an expansion of the Logan Inn.
The evergreen was not killed by the hand of a tree surgeon with a sharp chainsaw but rather an electric Milwaukee Sawzaw with a 12-inch blade.
The tree was all alone as I said goodbye. The Logan Indian stood proudly with the tree for most of my memory, now he stands watch from New Hope founder Benjamin Perry’s backyard next door.
In the ‘60s, my sisters and I whispered into Santa’s ear in front of the tree. Can’t remember how many tree lightings we attended while singing carols. For a decade, the tree was the first thing I saw every morning. I would look outside to check the weather from my apartment above Farley’s Book Shop.
In winter I could tell just how much snow had fallen. Were the limbs stressed by the weight of the wet snow, or was it just a dusting? The ghost tour assembled on October weekend nights in front of the tree, and we would sometimes play a tape out the window of scary dungeon sounds. When the mall burned on a very cold weekday night in the ‘80s, we locals sat with the tree watching the flames lick the sky.
Passing the tree meant I was halfway home from visiting friends and Randy tending bar at the Logan.
So many historic towns have a center, square or park. That tree on that triangle was our place to gather and celebrate as a town. People called it Cannon Square.
I’m very excited to see a rebirth of New Hope. So many large projects have either been completed recently or will be very soon. From the Ferry Market to the Playhouse to Stella’s and Odette’s and the Logan, these are exciting times. At this point we can only guess what the old Tow Path Inn on Mechanic Street will look like when it’s complete.
Man oh man! The ghosts of these previously successful properties, Johnny Frances Myers, Pam Minford, Walter Gelert, and Odette Myrtle are smiling down upon us with excitement and best wishes for our future. Those were the days my friend. I’m gonna miss the tree but I won’t forget it.