Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Elm tree will become wooden art projects

    I, like many of you, learned by reading the paper that the Elm tree at Hailey Coffee Co. was going to be removed. This is an old tree that has stood at the site for many years. Like all old trees, I wondered what that tree had witnessed, how Hailey had changed during its lifetime? What stories could it tell? Who had enjoyed its shade? Who had occupied the building it stood guard over? 
    At the same time, I also embraced the changes proposed by Carrie at the Hailey Coffee Co. I admit that I am a customer of Hailey Coffee Co. and that I consider Carrie a friend. I also own a small company and I am glad to see Carrie’s success with her company. She works hard at what she does and provides employment for a number of people. Nothing there to criticize.
     So, my thought and my proposal to her (which she enthusiastically accepted) is to take the tree and give it a second life by using its wood. Use the wood in a way that honors the life of the tree. We could bring the tree back as a sculpture, as a totem, as benches or tables. Maybe we will use some of the smaller branches to make coffee cups or coffee scoops that can be purchased. We could, for example, use a portion of that money to help fund the Hailey Tree Committee’s work.
    We are going to harvest the wood and let it cure over the winter. During that time, we will decide how best to use the wood. I am looking forward to seeing the grain patterns as well as the shape of the trunk. I am hoping the grain, the shapes and the collaborative process will yield a nice “art” project. It sure beats turning it into chips at the landfill.
    I have a couple of goals with this project. One is to honor the tree by using its wood, to acknowledge its life, its wisdom by giving it a second life. Another goal is to support a local business and all of the benefits it provides to the community.  
    With some luck and with the positive energy of the people in our community I think these goals are obtainable.
     We are going to take a tree that has some history with this community, use its wood to make something that is worthy of this “elder.” Please join me in this process, remembering this tree and supporting Hailey Coffee Co.  
Bill Amaya

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