the Unending Journey of the Wandering Author

A chronicle of the unending journey of the Wandering Author through life, with notes and observations made along the way. My readers should be aware I will not censor comments that disagree with me, but I do refuse to display comment spam or pointless, obscene rants. Humans may contact me at thewanderingauthor at yahoo dot com - I'll reply as I am able.

Location: New England, United States

I have always known I was meant to write, even when I was too young to know the word 'author'. When I learned that books were printed, I developed an interest in that as well. And I have always been a wanderer, at least in my mind. It's not the worst trait in an author. For more, read my writing; every author illuminates their heart and soul on the pages they write upon.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Tragic News From Holland

I hate to post about such a sad subject during the Christmas season, but I just learned the news today. The chestnut tree which Anne Frank loved and wrote about in her diary can no longer be saved, and a permit to cut it down has already been applied for.

For anyone who ever read Anne's diary, this must be sad news. I knew the chestnut tree was ill, but the last I had heard it was still considered possible to save it. It was one of the few signs of the outside world she could see from her window, and one that gave her comfort. So another link with the life of a wonderful, talented girl whose life was so tragically, maliciously, and senselessly cut short will be lost.

I was at least pleased to read that there are plans to plant a descendant of this tree. I suppose this is all that can be done, sad as that thought may be. I believe that the webcam will be showing the tree's removal live once the permit has been granted. Personally, I doubt I will be able to bear to watch, although another part of me would like to be witness to its last moments.

When I was young, there was a chestnut tree on my way to school. It was always a wonderful, magical time when the chestnuts, many still wrapped in their prickly green outer casings, would begin to fall. I'd spend as many minutes as I could each morning gathering as many as I could, then I'd admire the beautiful, mahogany coloured nuts inside.

One of my teachers took an exceptional dislike to me, and did all in her power to make my life miserable. The situation became so terrible, the school superintendent even advised my parents on how much time they could legally have me excused from school without (quite) violating the law. While not an ordeal half so bad as Anne's, and certainly one with a much happier ending, a chestnut tree provided its comfort to me during a difficult time as well. Perhaps this is why I'm taking the news so hard.

They say there are no plans to reuse the wood from the felled tree. While I regret the death of the tree, if there is nothing else to be done, it would be nice if some good could come of it. Personally, I would think the would should be auctioned off in an online charity auction. The proceeds, of course, would go to perpetuating the memory of Anne Frank.

I know, if I had enough money I thought I had the slightest hope of winning the bidding, I'd spend every penny I could afford. Imagine being able to have a desk or chair made from the wood of that wonderful tree! Or, if a commercial buyer won the bidding, they could manufacture custom fountain pens with wooden barrels to sell - I'd happily pay an outrageous price for one of those.

I think Anne would have liked the idea, if her beloved tree were to die, of every possible bit of good being derived from it. It would raise money to honour her memory, and to combat the kind of hatred that took her life. It would also preserve some tiny bit of memory, some additional souvenir of her life. I hope my suggestion may reach the right ears in time to do some good.

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Blogger Susan Abraham said...

Seeing Anne Franks's name, remembering her diary, and then reading about the tree makes me instantly sad.
Yes, that's true, WA.

December 22, 2006 12:45 AM  
Anonymous Pete O'seal said...

Just a quick comment;
Eruditely put, WA.
WA, it is a sad thing.
Saving the tree isn't an option.
Do you have a link to the news?
I think I can bid and win it.
Do you think that would be good?
Would you like some wood if I win?
Thanks for writing this!
Chance may win through yet!

December 23, 2006 11:56 AM  
Blogger Wide Lawns Subservient Worker said...

I love your idea for Anne Frank's chestnut tree. I would pay a lot for a pen from it too. I think that would be the perfect legacy!

December 23, 2006 5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conkers! Not a British schoolboy of the last 300 years who doesn't love a game of conkers. Ohh, that's what we call the "nuts" from a Horse Chestnut tree. As for Anne Frank's tree...sadly trees, like the rest of us, are subject to the shifting sands of time and the laws of nature. If it is remembered in writing or in a mind...then it will always live on.

Peace and goodwill to all.

December 24, 2006 4:09 AM  
Blogger Anthony said...

Interesting how objects can inspire such passion; and stand as reflections of one's spirit. I don't think the falling of the tree will diminish the memory of either.

My short stint of attempting to write blog comments didn't last long. As it turns out, I've now decided to dive into the deep end of the blogosphere and see how it works out.

With that, I have changed by URL to If you could update I'd appreciate it. I'd like to start getting some traffic, thinking that will make it more fun, so I joined Blog Village.

I appreciate you holding my link spot Wandering Author. My absence will not be so long again. When you get a chance, I'll be interested to see what you think of my blogging progress.

December 24, 2006 10:57 AM  
Blogger ian said...

I just wanted to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas.


December 24, 2006 3:37 PM  
Blogger Thy said...

merry christmas, WA!

sorry about the tree.
we had to cut down the giant willow in my front yard a couple years ago. I was so sad--it was my favorite aspect of our yard when i was a child[why did it have to destroy our driveway? why?!]

but don't worry. tree's come and go. it allows other trees to live too. [same goes with humans]

December 26, 2006 4:19 AM  
Blogger Bhaswati said...

What a poignant post, WA. 'Hope you always have the comforting presence of some avatar of the chestnut tree of your childhood.

Season's greetings to you and yours. :-)

December 26, 2006 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your idea of reusing the wood is wonderful - I'm on it.

December 29, 2006 12:09 AM  
Blogger Susan Abraham said...

And a happy new year to you too, WA this January 1st. I wish everything wonderful for the coming year.
All the best

January 01, 2007 4:07 AM  
Blogger JCR said...

I've been to her house. This is tragic indeed. You have an excellent blog. I will definately be coming back to read more!

January 08, 2007 3:09 PM  
Blogger Saoirse Redgrave said...

I would not have known the tree's condition if not for your post. Thank you.

Today I went and viewed it on the live web cast. Thank you for that as well. I feel better for having not missed that opportunity.


January 11, 2007 11:05 AM  

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