107. Around the Corner: Ginkgo Tree

This is the Wright/Prewitt House at 611 West Maple. It’s been here a while; it goes back to 1914. Harry Truman passed by it every time he walked down Maple Street. It’s not the house that important, though, so much as the big tree in the front yard. It’s a Ginko tree. On his morning walks down Maple, Harry Truman often stopped to admire and speak to this tree. He was overheard saying "you’re doing a good job," and he’d reach out and pat it. Since we’ve been talking about stability and consistency, it’s kind of interesting that Truman picked out this particular tree to favor. You see, the Ginko tree is one of the oldest species of tree on the planet. They come from China and can live for thousands of years. They’re resistant to drought, insects, disease, pollution – they’re tough trees. They have evolved almost not at all over the last 260 million years or so. It’s been called a living fossil. Two hundred and sixty year old fossils look exactly like the modern day tree. They are almost perfect. Since we’ve been talking about stability and continuity, it’s kind of appropriate that Truman liked this tree. If you want to try something kind of interesting, reach out and touch the tree. You can put your hand right where Harry Truman put his. You can touch the same thing living thing he touched. It’s like a little direct link to him. When you’re done communing with Harry, walk on down to the corner and look across the street at number 616.