This wonderful tree was literally a playground for local children. Under its boughs, we could play by the hour, hidden from parents and passersby. And the tree itself provided its own amusements. There was a long vertical branch, stripped of its leaves, that was called the firemen’s pole. Climbing high into the tree, a child could clamber on to the pole, wrap arms and legs around it, and take a breathless ride back down to the ground. A sturdy bough that bent at a ninety degree angle fairly close to the bottom of the tree, made a wonderful swing, often occupied by two or three children at a time. And, of course, the many hearts and initials carved into the bark of this forgiving tree are witness to the innocent first kisses of young teens. I’m so glad this tree still stands, though the fences around the college surely mean that it serves no longer as a child’s secret garden.