Letters to the Editor

Tree carvings made after Hurricane Katrina need a little TLC

Sculptor Tomas Vrba works on a “Tree Spirit” carving on a tree stump in the backyard of Paul Barnes and Judy Nasmith of Bellingham, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. Vrba says the “Tree Spirit,” or “Green Man,” comes from an old European legend of a benevolent spirit that lives in the forest.
Sculptor Tomas Vrba works on a “Tree Spirit” carving on a tree stump in the backyard of Paul Barnes and Judy Nasmith of Bellingham, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. Vrba says the “Tree Spirit,” or “Green Man,” comes from an old European legend of a benevolent spirit that lives in the forest. pdwyer@bhamherald.com

Aug. 29 is the 12th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. We Gulf Coasters possess a silver lining left by this disaster — the 50 tree carvings along U.S. 90.

When it became obvious that Live oak trees (some of them ancient) had not survived the brutal wind and saltwater forces of Katrina, three young men transformed their death into beautiful art.

Dayton Scoggins of Mississippi, Marlin Miller of Florida and Dayle Lewis of Indiana carved the birds and mammals of the Gulf of Mexico from the remains of these majestic oaks.

Shore birds, dolphins and even eagles rise from tree trucks and limbs, from Biloxi to Pass Christian.

But we have not been good stewards of these gifts. The protective clear coating (probably polyurethane) has disappeared almost entirely. The raw wood is exposed to semi-tropical sun, rain and salt air.

The art loving community and/or cities should immediately undertake rescue of these dear reminders that beauty can be born of disaster.

Otherwise, these daily statements that we survived Katrina will become her last victims.

Charles A. Boggs

Long Beach

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