Mixed Emotions about Final Toomer’s Rolling
There has been a lot written about the “celebration” following A-Day on April 20th when fans are invited to roll Toomer’s Corner for one last time. The city and university are spending a lot of money promoting and putting on the event.
There’s commemorative toilet paper being made available and once the dead trees are chopped down the following day, fans will have a chance to own a piece of history. Within days, there will be thousands of souvenirs stamped Auburn Oaks on them.
Auburn will charge a small fortune for you to own a piece of nostalgia. I guess there’s nothing wrong with all of it. You couldn’t very well just chop down the trees without some sort of send off.
I still find the whole process a little weird. I’d like to say the gathering will bring back memories of good times with family and friends after big Auburn wins. I’ve made a lot of great memories under those old oaks.
It’s still a little early for me.
When I see those dying trees today, a rage comes over me. I don’t think of Saturdays past, but rather see the face of an ignorant moron who got off too lightly. I think back to the comments I’ve heard from some Alabama people who’ve admitted to taking delight in Auburn’s anguish.
Those trees now symbolize for me a rivalry gone too far. What once was a state’s greatest asset has now been poisoned by the likes of sports shock jocks and fans who couldn’t find Tuscaloosa or Auburn on a map if their life depended on it.
I know there are many good Alabama people out there who’d never wish such actions on Auburn. I know thousands of dollars were raised and donated by people who wear crimson.
It hurts to look up at that corner. That intersection represents heaven on earth for me. I proposed to my wife a few steps away. I first visited there as a child with my father. In recent years, my own family has made that trek on football Saturday’s.
The final rolling of Toomer’s Corner will be no celebration for me. I’m not even sure I’ll be in attendance. I may head to the car after the A-Day game. I’ve never been big on funerals.
Throwing toilet paper onto dead limbs is not something high on my bucket list. The real celebration will be when those new magnificent replacement oaks are transplanted a few years from now. In the spirit of the Easter season, I’m all about the rebirth.
I hope you attend the event. I may change my mind and see you there. Right now, I’m not feeling it. This story is not suggesting the final rolling is a bad idea. We all say good-bye in different ways.
Personally, I choose to remember the good times – and right now, that’s not so easy.