Here's your chance to say thank you—and goodbye—to these beloved members of the Auburn Family.
Whether you were raised loving them your whole life, or just had one memorable experience, take a moment to tell the Toomer's Corner Oaks what they have meant to you.

Your submission may be chosen for publication in a Letters to Toomer's book to honor these trees and tradition that is so uniquely Auburn. War Eagle and God bless the trees.


A Life Long Tradition

Dear Toomers Trees,

I’ve grown up with you all my life. I can’t remember when the first time I rolled you was. What I do remember is the feeling that I had. The feeling of elation. Of joy. Of knowing that you were a part of something bigger than you. Part of a family that you could never easily explain to outsiders. It was something that they had to experience for themselves. Luckily I was introduced to it early in my childhood. My mother and father both went to Auburn as did most of my father’s side of the family.

Rolling Toomers Corner was the highlight of every football game. No other school had such a tradition. A tradition that encouraged you to do something that would be frowned upon in any other situation. This is one of the many things that makes Auburn Unique. The trees were a place where you bonded with friends and made some new ones along the way.

I remember when I first heard the news of the trees being poisoned. I was devastated. Who would do such a thing? What reason could they possibly have to destroy something that countless people hold so dear to their hearts? At the time, we had no indication of how long the trees had to live, or if they were even going to die at all. Once we heard the poisoning was terminal we knew that we had to go see the trees. The next weekend my mom and I, along with one of my good friends who is also an Auburn fan, piled in the car and drove the two and a half hours from where we live in Georgia. Arriving at the trees was one of the saddest moments of my life. They had been cordoned off to prevent further damage. Surrounding them there were countless mementos left by fellow grievers. Everything from flowers to cards to signs. Many people had written on rolls of toilet paper and left it at the base of the tree.

We, of course, had to attend the final rolling of the tree on A-Day this year. It was an amazing day and I had so much fun getting to roll the tree one last time. It was like everyone, just for the day, forgot that we were going to lose the trees in just three days time. It was just like nothing had ever happened. Just another football win. And it was perfect. I couldn’t have asked for a better sendoff and I think that we did the trees proud.

And then that Wednesday I watched the live stream from my highschool astronomy class as the trees were taken down. Every piece that was cut created another pang of sadness in my chest that I knew I would never forget.

I think it is important to note though that this is not Alabama’s doing. The trees were poisoned by one crazy man who didn’t understand anything. They had been around for 130 years without any harm coming to them. No Alabama fan had harmed them in all that time. They knew that that would be going too far. Some of them even went out of their way to condemn Updyke. They are not to blame for this. He alone is. So do not turn your anger on them, they don’t deserve it.

As an incoming freshman at Auburn it breaks my heart that I will never get to roll Toomers Corner as a Student. As I sit here trying, I can’t even put into words how much these trees meant to me and the rest of my Auburn family. I will look on with sadness each time I pass the corner but I carry with me the memories of my time with the trees and the joy that they gave me.

I am so thankful to have been a part of this tradition. I loved every minute that I spent under you. My time with you will be memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. And who knows? Maybe I’ll even manage to acquire a sapling Toomers tree!

What I do know is that the Auburn spirit lives on and that, even though you have to leave us, you will never be forgotten.

Thank you for everything,

Zach Willard

Good Night All

Good night all. This was a weekend of celebration and remberance. It was  for my dad that I threw the first role (API Class of 52) and my mom who I will always remember in her wool dress with the Orange mum with the blue A at our first game in 68 as a family.The second roll was for my boys and my wife, the memories of the many trips we have taken to the plains, the great victories we saw together, and the fact we still couldn’t convert their mom to an Auburn fan, but she faithfully came will us. Cheering on her beloved team in silence, but beaming at watching her boys enjoy themselves. The fourth and final roll is for my brother, his wife Sharon, and daughter Barrett. no greater an Auburn man do I know except for our Dad. War Eagle little brother. We had some hell of football games in the front yard of Pine Crest Road. And finally my most beloved granddaughters Claudia and Aubrey. Claudia has seen the Auburn experience by his following her grandmother to Tuscaloosa for love of  her university. But little Aubrey is destined to be an Auburn Tiger. Upon birth her name has been nothing but Aubs or Aubie, She will be of the Orange and Blue and I will be there to see her walk. . As David Housel said yesterday. We were not there to celebrate the end but the beginning. The Auburn Spirit will remain. Frear less and True. We are and Auburn family and We believe in and love it. War Eagle.

Friendships and Family

 

The memories of great times at Toomer’s Corner will live long after the Oaks are gone.  One of my favorite memories happened in 1972.  My mother was getting her hair done at Betty’s Beauty Bar – a salon on College Street.  As the exciting moments of Punt Bama Punt began to take place the attention focused on the radio.  When Auburn had the incredible win, everyone left to roll Toomer’s.  Women will not leave at the half way point of a weekly hair appointment except for an emergency.  This was a family celebration!

27 years later when lung problems made supplemental O2 a necessity for my mama, we took the portable oxygen and together watched the great tradition continue. 

Years of rolling Toomer’s with family and friends followed the memorable score of 17-16.  On quiet days the corner blessed by the oaks was a place to gather. The oaks stood strong as a symbol of all that is right.   Many days would find me there with a camera in hand, with our grand trees framing hundreds of shots.  When the last roll is thrown and the last picture is taken I will remember with smiles and tears the great parents who raised me to love Auburn and the wonderful friendships bound by orange and blue.

KM

AU ‘85