I noticed that over the past little while some of the old oak trees had been cut down around Oak Hill School, so I thought I'd stop by and check it out. Looking about I found several old trees had been cut and their remains hauled off below the school, one of which was in excess of four feet across the base.
My Dad, the late Bill Brown Jr., started teaching at Oak Hill in 1949. He was named principal there in 1952 and remained in that capacity until he retired in 1979. As principal, my parents lived in the “Principal’s House” right on the school grounds, and this is where I spent the best years of my life. Having grown up living on the school grounds, I feel a "closeness" to Oak Hill School that goes beyond just being an alumnus. When I saw the old (and apparently still healthy) oak trees had been cut down, it made me sick. Then it made me mad.
Those oak trees were there long before the first Oak Hill Elementary School building was built on the hill in 1924. When the high school building was built in 1947, those trees were there. Those trees have shaded well over 6,000 students who have passed through the halls of Oak Hill School during the past 95 years. Then, for no good reason that I can think of, someone made the decision to cut them down. Will they stop at the ones they have already cut, or will they cut all the remaining trees down?
Not only is it a shame to cut down healthy trees as old as these (the biggest tree that was cut down was most likely close to 200 years old), but it is an affront to all the alumni and to the history of Oak Hill School. Whoever is responsible for this should be ashamed. I guess that personal connection and personal investment in Oak Hill School that was once such a driving force on that beautiful hill I once called home is too long gone to matter anymore.
Such a waste. Such a terrible waste.