Whoosh! Issue 53 - February 2001
Editor's Page

From the Graphics Editor:
The Night Of The Liquidated Landmark

From the Graphics Editor:

It's funny how you can get used to things, even if you see them infrequently. There is -- or rather was -- a particular landmark that I would see every time I drove in to Auckland city from the airport. One Tree Hill was -- and still is -- a very visible identifying point in the Greater Auckland skyline. But the object that gave it the name, a particular large tree that grew near the stele atop the hill, is no more. The tree was distinctive because it was the dominant natural object atop an otherwise (save for the stele and monument structure) bare hilltop. It was easily seen from all over Auckland, and often the source of bearings when I was walking about. Over the last three years, it became familiar, a symbol of trust and dependability, a living object that had been around a lot longer than I, and one that would probably, odds on, be around long after I was not.

A few days prior to my last trip to New Zealand, the Auckland City Council decided that the tree should be cut down. It was leaning precariously, supported by cables, having survived at least two major attacks on it in years past. The tree had become a symbol, for some, in a political and social struggle and that was why it was attacked.

Being ignorant of such strife, I always took the tree at face value. To me, it was "just" a tree -- an old, living thing that gave off precious oxygen in exchange for sunlight, water, gasses unusable by me and a few minerals and nutrients. It provided shade after a long hike to and up the hill.

How jarring it was to cruise out of the Auckland airport onto the road into town and look up to One Tree Hill to see... No Tree Hill. Suddenly a familiar landmark was gone.

There are some similarities between the Tree and XENA. We've all been given notice that this is the last season. We've seen more than half of the shows in the final installment. How odd it will be to tune in to see the show at the appointed time only to find it no longer there.

Like the Tree, there will be something to replace the original once it's gone. No, it won't be the same, and nothing is ever like the original, but perhaps we can find, nurture, water, care for the muse that follows, and watch it grow.

And of course, we always will have the pictures to remember.

Another victim of Gab abuse?

One Tree Hill, in happier days.

Bret Rudnick
Graphics Editor
Executive Committee
Hermosa Beach, California
29 January 2001

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