Tag Archives: trees

original works

Essay Invitation: That Special Tree

Welcome to the UnderMain Invitational Essay Series! In celebration of Tree Week 2019  we invite you to write a short story or poem about that special tree of your childhood, your past, or in your life today. Why was it your “go to” tree? What species was it? How does it make you feel to recall it? What has become of it? The possible angles are limited only by experience and imagination. 

Please limit the word count to 500. UnderMain reserves an editorial prerogative to ensure that our content is a comfortable fit with community standards.

We can illustrate with stock photos (see Tom Martin’s There was this tree…), with a source-credited digital image of your own, or with your drawing (check out Christine Huskisson’s Twelve Trees.)

We’ll publish your essay on UnderMain so that you can share it (maybe with long-lost childhood friends who also recall that special tree and have stories of their own to contribute).

Check out this conversation for this week’s edition of Eastern Standard on WEKU with Tree Week core team members Bridget Abernathy and Heather Wilson:

Tell us about that special tree in your childhood!

Submit your essay to tom@under-main.com

Thank you and enjoy!

original works

In the Walnut Grove

My tree story is not about one tree but a whole grove of walnut trees that were at Morehead Camp.

These trees provided shade and many bushels of black walnuts.  The walnut hulls were a mess to remove and the shells hard to crack, but nothing was better than the nuts for adding to fudge.  They were also great in Waldorf salad and anything else calling for nuts.


My father used to white wash the bottoms of those trees, as was the custom.

Two trees in particular that were special were the two outside the kitchen window. They provided shade for our sand box and support for a swing and hammock.


When I was little my mother put my playpen under them for a nap and I took baths in a tub in the shade.


I remember Herbie Hogan cleaning his fish in the shade of those trees.

After Morehead Camp was sold the Williams children wanted something made of that walnut wood.  The folks at the lumber yard got as much usable wood as they could, bypassing the bullets that were lodged in the trees as a result of target practice. We had special boxes made of the wood for ourselves and our children, and I had a couple of small tables built with an insert of marble salvaged from Fountain Square in Cincinnati.

I would never have dreamed that thinking of trees would have evoked so many memories!