The iconic old-growth oak trees at Auburn's traditional post-game party spot, Toomer's Corner, have been the heart of no end of melodrama over the last three months. As of today, their DNA is being planted in the heart of the nation:
(WASHINGTON, DC)—Today, Congressman Mike Rogers [of Alabama] attended a tree planting ceremony of a seedling from the historic oaks of Toomer's Corner at Auburn University.
Rep. Dennis Ross (FL), a 1981 graduate of Auburn University and colleague of Rogers', organized the planting of the tree on the East side grounds of the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
"After the devastating news of the tree poisonings earlier this year, knowing this seed will grow one day to shade the grounds of the Capitol should bring some hope and pride to all Auburn fans," Rogers added.
Ross and Rogers were accompanied at the planting by fellow alums Spencer Bachus, a representative from Virginia, and Dave Ferguson, who just so happened to be in a position to sign off on the planting as chief administrative officer of the Office of the Architect of the Capitol; also wielding a shovel was Auburn rep Paula Kierce, the university's senior development officer. The quartet broke away in between House votes — there was no ceremonial groundbreaking — to drop the sapling in a spot occupied by a tree in the original 1874 design for the grounds by the father of American landscaping, Frederick Law Olmstead.
Presumably, the saplings will be mercifully free of the poison-wielding rival that has apparently brought its ancestors' 130-year reign to an end, and will instead live out a long and peaceful existence overseeing generations of tourists, protesters and, later on, increasingly sophisticated floating billboards making personalized pitches to passersby in Mandarin. But if the baby trees happen to get "rolled" in the meantime, we already know exactly where to look.