One Last Roll

[image] Trees Rolled at Toomer's Corner

This past weekend will be one I will never forget after a turnout in downtown Auburn like I have never seen before.

Saturday, April 21st was celebrated by the Auburn family as the last rolling of the oak trees at Toomer's Corner.

What I expected to be more of a somber occasion turned into a party with a live band and plenty of streamers.

As an Auburn man, I hold a special place in my heart for those old trees. I remember rolling them when I went down to the plains for football games as a kid.

When I was in college at Auburn, I often found myself at the corner after big wins.

In 2010, I got to take my nephews, Caleb and Connor, down to Auburn for a football game and they got to experience rolling the trees.  It was an experience I had hoped to share with my own future children someday.

I always felt connected to Auburn people when I had the chance to gather at the corner with so many other Auburn fans. But, it wasn't just the ones that were there. It was the students, alumni, and fans who started the tradition and those who have carried it on throughout.

Those old oak trees are the definition of the Auburn spirit and their last hurrah only served to further unite the Auburn faithful.

The day on the plains started with the annual A-Day game.  It is no surprise there was a record turnout for the spring football game with so many fans in town for "The Last Roll."

The official count from the University was 83,401 at the game.  That's just about 4,050 shy of capacity.

That crowd carried over to downtown Auburn.  I don't even know how to put a number on how many people shuffled in and out of Toomer's Corner and its surrounding streets.

To me, it felt like a standing room only concert when you are trying to edge your way to the front.  People were stacked in shoulder-to-shoulder to celebrate.

The toilet paper was flying all day.  There was dust flying all around downtown as it came off the rolls being hurled into the dying oaks and pretty much all the shrubbery, poles and any other structures surrounding them.

When it was all said and done it looked like a winter wonderland with toilet paper covering the ground as well as everyone and everything.  It would have been a good weekend to own some stock in Charmin.

What really stood out to me was watching dads teach their young kids how to throw a roll of paper into the tree.  I heard stories of long drives just so a child or a friend or a family member could experience the tradition before the old oaks are removed.

On April 23rd the original oaks will be removed.  But, the Auburn spirit is not afraid.  The tradition is only beginning and I rest AUssured knowing I will get to teach my future kids how to roll a new oak tree at Toomer's Corner one day on the plains.


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