Writing with Wooden Ink

Twins Forever 2012 bathroom stall carving, Botin restaurant, Madrid, Spain

Note: This post was the first ever drafted by the MySheCave.com author using an iPad.  Drafting occurred airborne on a U.S. commercial airline flight.

While recently visiting one of the world’s oldest restaurants, El Restaurante Botin, in Madrid, I was surprised to see the message, “Twins Forever 2012,” carved into one of the old, wooden bathroom stall doors.  Being thousands of miles away from my identical twin at that moment, I was pleasantly reminded of our special twin bond.

Beyond the random bathroom stall door, I also have enjoyed reading carvings in tree wood over the years.  I remember seeing the names of local sweethearts framing a mathematical plus sign and encircled with a heart shape carved into trees in my N.C. hometown. “Jim+Kathy, 1982,” for example.

Tree carving is an old tradition, and there are interesting examples of such engravings.  Amazingly, an entire poem was carved into a beech tree in the 1840s.  “The Poem Tree,” carved by Joseph Tubb in Oxfordshire, England no longer stands, but a commemorative stone with the transcribed poem does exist, and the tree was named one of “50 Great British Trees” by Britain’s The Tree Council in 2002.

The Perryville Tree Engravings are another interesting example of tree carvings, carved on more than 100 trees in Perryville, Maryland by former psychiatric hospital patients, many of whom were mentally ill U.S. military veterans. The majority of the carved tree messages in Perryville aren’t as easy or pleasant to read as the poem on “The Poem Tree” stone or as the names of sweethearts in love.

In the spirit of today’s 2012 U.S. Open men’s golf championship, I’d like to mention another neat tree carving example.  On the grounds of his home course at the Latrobe Country Club in Pennsylvania and in honor of his father, golf great Arnold Palmer hired a local woodcarver to convert a 12-foot red pine tree into a giant carving of his father.

How many tree carvings have you seen in your lifetime?  Where were the trees that contained the carvings located?  Do you recall any specific messages?

And, last, have you ever been tempted to carve a message into a tree?  Has any person or experience moved you enough to want to carve out a long-lasting historical wooden reminder that others could find?

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