They Took Out the Tree!

Today (April 18th) is my little brother’s 59th birthday. Oy Vey! Between now and July, I am only 3 years older than Dave. Come July, I will be 4 years older. Our older brother Mike is 65. To those of you who are new to my blog, Mike is autistic, very low functioning and has never spoken. Most of my early blog entries (from January through November 2013) are exclusively about Mike and my efforts to communicate with him and relate to him.

Jack with pumpkin, Li'l Bro, Mike outside

Three Brothers


Dave and I planted a maple tree in the back yard of the house in which we grew up. I don’t remember exactly when, but it must have been in the early 1970s.

Dad took this photo. If you look closely you can see me standing next to Dave, who is in the baby carriage.


Our House, circa 1958

On the day my parents moved out, Dave and I recreated the picture above.



Our House, 1993


We talked about how big it would be in the unimaginable future. We jokingly referred to how old we would be in the years following 1999. It seemed that the 20th century would go on forever. “Yeah,” I would say, “ in 2002 I’ll be 50 years old, ha ha ha,” as if it was impossible.

I tend to wax nostalgic on birth anniversaries. What could slake the nostalgic thirst better than a look at the current state of our maple tree 40+ years after we planted it? After all, it is the 21st century. I could see our tree from space.

I opened up the satellite map and zoomed in on our old address.

Screen Shot - Map

Our House From Space

The maple tree was nowhere to be seen! Plus, they took out the dogwood tree in the front yard and the birdbath.

This is a street view of the front of our house, courtesy of those people who are mapping the planet street by street.

Street View - Our House 2013

Our House, 2013

Sometimes it is better to keep one’s nostalgic notions rather than trying to confirm them and experience a splash of the cold water of reality.

5 thoughts on “They Took Out the Tree!

  1. I love this post Jack! Recently I took my father (in his 80s) to look for a particular rock in the Peak District which my mother photographed him sitting on when he was 17 and courting her. We found the place and had fun re-creating the shot – I have both now in my house, side-by-side. I am partial to magnolia trees and have planted them at every house I have lived in. Sometimes I do a drive by of ex-properties to see how they are getting on – I never thought of using google earth before but I will now so i can peek into backyards too! I’m so sorry about the maple 🙁 Thank you Jack!

    • Thank you, Liz. Lovely that you have those two pictures. I had another interesting experience. If I can find the pictures, I will post about it. It so happens that when I was a kid, I was on a ski lift (in the summertime) in Lake Placid, NY. I took a picture of the view. Many years later I was at a conference in that same town. I was on the same ski lift (I remember being in Lake Placid as a child, but forgot all about that photo I took). I took a picture of the view. In sorting through my pictures one day, I found the original shot. I took both of them of the same terrain, I could almost superimpose them! Weird, no?
      As ever, thank you for your comment and your interest.

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