Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Year 1908

The following happened:

A ball signifying New Years Day drops in New York City's Times Square for the first time.

Robert Baden-Powell begins the Boy Scout movement.

Women compete in modern Olympic Games for the first time.

United States Attorney General Charles Joseph Bonaparte issues an order to immediately staff the Office of the Chief Examiner (later renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation.)

Thomas Selfridge becomes the first person to die in an aeroplane crash at Ft Myer, Virginia. The plane was flown by Orville Wright who was also severely injured in the crash but recovered.

Western bandits Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid are supposedly killed in Bolivia, after being surrounded by a large group of soldiers. There are many rumors to the contrary however, and the grave sites are unmarked.

Petroleum production starts in Middle East.

Gordon Johnson's grandmother signed a piece of paper allowing the (then) little known electric company access to her property for the next 100 years, should they need it.

Gordon is my 82 year old landlord.
99 years later, I woke up yesterday morning to the sound of chainsaws and machinery. When I took Hannibal out I looked across the compound and saw a huge machine cutting down trees.
The machine that was being used was pretty amazing as it would grab a tree at about the halfway point - 50 feet or so - and then saw across below where it was being held. The top part of the tree, again 50 feet or so, would then be laid down. The same would be repeated for the bottom half, cutting the tree right at ground level. This was being repeatedly repeated!

I could not imagine why this was being done. Were they going build another house? There are already 7 houses on the property. Were they just thinning the trees? But these tree cutters kept going.

Later in the day when I spoke with Gordon (the landlord) he explained about the electric company coming in, just 1 year shy of the 100 year agreement and claiming the land. He told me that he'd tried fighting it, but with no success. Today, the tree clearers would be back and, sure enough, they returned to continue cutting a huge swath right through his property. Mine, Patrick's and Gordon's front yards is the piece of property being eviscerated by the Northern Land Clearing for National Grid.

It's pretty sad when any trees are cut down. The photos above are the before and after, which is pretty hard to look at. The view out my front door is even worse.

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