Thanks to John Kelly for his obituary of the lovely red oak ["What Grows Up, These Guys Cut Down," Style, Nov. 2].
My parents, Elmer and Dorothy West, bought the house in Silver Spring with the red oak in the mid-1950s, loving at first sight that large tree and another in the back yard.
That tree saw me through junior high at Montgomery Hill, high school at Blair and then greeted me as I returned from college, jobs, relocations, marriage and a baby, and on all my trips home for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
After my dad's death, my mother lived in that house until about two years ago. She was deeply saddened when she had to have the huge sickly tree in the back yard taken down and lovingly nurtured the red oak in the front to keep it alive. She had the tree trimmed yearly and inspected by arborists every other year, and she fed it on a regular basis. The way it leaned worried her, but she continued to care for it and hope for the best.
We understood the need for the tree to come down, but a 95-year-old woman mourned the death of "her" tree and reminisced about all that it had seen. She was glad to think that it might contribute to the community in other ways, if only to cook pizza. She hoped that the logging company would make something lasting from its wood -- a beautiful mantel, the flooring for a young couple's first home, a crib for a new baby -- while accepting that it might become nothing more lovely than a telephone pole.
Thanks for the story; we appreciated it.
PENELOPE WEST SURITZ