Timing is Everything

Apr 20, 2013 | 4 comments

As I backed the car out of the garage early yesterday and dutifully looked right and left, I saw that Territory Road was completely blocked to the north.  A gigantic limb from Roadblock April 19, 2013one of the Monterrey Cypress trees in front of the ‘bottle house’ had given way and fallen into the street.

My immediate reaction was the same as it is to any disaster discovered first thing in the morning – a great sense of relief that whatever-it-was occurred in the dead of night.  It’s a feeling that reinforces my illogical childhood belief that, like those lurking bogeymen, all scary things only happen when we are asleep.

My next thought, of course, concerned who to call and how to get the street cleared.  About that time, Oysterville Store owner Greg Rogers drove up (via School Street).  He was on the phone to Bradley in Seattle who already had thought of who could drop everything and bring a chainsaw to the rescue.  They were ‘on it.’

Ironically, we have all been concerned about that branch for a month or more and Bradley was in the process of scheduling an arbor care company to come and remove it.  It didn’t appear to be dead yet, but it was gravely injured – cracked and broken in two places after one of our recent storms.  It was clearly a disaster waiting to happen.  Thank goodness it waited until there were no cars or pedestrians on the street!

Cypress TreesThe line-up of huge Cypress trees between Merchant and Division Streets is one of the distinctive features of Oysterville.  They were planted by Tom Andrews back in the early twentieth century.  According to Andrews Family descendants, Tom brought the seedlings back with him after a trip to California.

They have thrived here and, unlike their stunted, wind-ravaged eponyms on the California coast, they have grown straight and very, very tall.  As they have aged, they have become a bit of a maintenance problem for adjacent property owners and most of us feel that they are now a community responsibility.  But, as with most Oysterville concerns, there is seldom consensus about what to do about them or how to do it.

Fortunately, there was no question of what to do yesterday.  By the time Nyel and I returned from our appointment in Ilwaco, the street was almost clear.  Traffic was moving freely north and south and Oysterville’s streetscape looked unscathed.  I said a silent “thank you” for underground wiring, cell phones, and young, decisive neighbors, as well as for those things that only go bump in the night.


  1. Irene

    I love those trees and that fence, they are magnificent and I never tire of taking their picture from every possible angle whenever we are in Oysterville. Many thanks to their caretakers….all of you!

  2. April

    It is wonderful that Bradley and the Village came together to take care of those beloved trees!

    I was quite surprised to see it when I got home from work and also discovered that during the ordeal, someone had backed over our water main lid at the street in spite of the two rocks placed there for protection.

    The meter and pipe were busted and water was bubbling up and flooding the entrance to the driveway and into the street. No water in main house or my apartment!

    Big shout out to Mark Clemmens for coming to the rescue and doing a temporary fix so that I could have water last night! Thank you Mark and thank you everyone for taking care of those gorgeous trees!

    • sydney

      Who ARE those people who think it must be boring living in Oysterville?! Silly them.

  3. Stephanie Frieze

    I have always loved those Cypress sentinels and am very glad that no more damage was done!


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