The Popcorn Stand: Don't be sad because it's gone, smile because it was there

I was sad to hear this news but then I decided to take Dr. Seuss’ advice. I wasn’t sad because it was gone, I was glad it was there. Of course I’m paraphrasing one of Dr. Seuss’ quotes: “Don’t be sad because it’s over, smile because it happened.” The tree that’s believed to have inspired Dr. Seuss as he worked on “The Lorax” has fallen in La Jolla. The real-life Truffula Tree, which was a Monterey Cypress, could be seen from the author’s San Diego home. Nobody knows who the tree fell. It appeared to be in good health, although it did have a termite problem. The tree was known as “The Lorax Tree” and was estimated to be 80 to 100 years old. Dr. Seuss, aka Theodore Seuss Geisel, apparently wrote “The Lorax” out of anger as homes and condominiums took over the hills. Whether or not the tree is actually the inspiration for “The Lorax” is disputed. Geisel’s wife, Audrey, said the trees in the book were inspired by a trip to Africa while other say trees closer to Geisel’s home inspired the story. I would like to think it’s a combination of all of the above, including the so-called “Lorax Tree” that’s no longer with us. The loss of the so-called “Lorax” tree reminds me of another tree, “The Survivor Tree” which is located without much fanfare at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. But when I visited it, it was an emotional experience. Through all the destruction caused by the 9/11 attack, a small stump was discovered and was nursed back to life. It now stands as “The Survivor Tree” and has stood through two hurricanes. Maybe the so-called Lorax Tree is no longer with us. But it lived a long life and the story it supposedly inspired will live forever. So it’s like the Survivor Tree and all of us. We’re all survivors. — Charles Whisnand


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