Arbor Day: Washington

April 8, 2009 at 10:13 am 8 comments

Western Hemlocks
(Photo by DC SL)
Happy Arbor Day, Washington!

I am a mere eleven months older than my sister, Carolyn. And as children I was a bit… bossy. I would delegate out the roles during playtime, making sure the choice parts were delegated to yours truly. I’ll be Yogi Bear, you be Boo Boo. I’ll be Cinderella, you be Prince Charming. My authority even extended to the tricky topic of love.

One evening after watching an episode of Dukes of Hazzard, I declared my undying love for beautiful and lovely Bo Duke. To my dismay, my sister agreed. She also fancied Bo Duke.

“You CAN’T like him!” I snapped, “He has blond hair and I have blond hair. You have to like Luke Duke.”*

And before I knew it, my sister had a devoted crush on goofy and gross Luke Duke. How crazy is that? I mean, the man obviously had cooties.

Both poised at the top of our nation’s west coast, Oregon and Washington are kinda like siblings. Oregon, as a state, has about 30 years on the younger Washington and apparently has the same amount of influence as I did as a child. In 1946, an Oregon newspaper made fun of Washington for not having a state tree. The Portland Oregonian suggested one:

The Western Hemlock.

Oh there were other trees in the running, like the Western Red Cedar, but in 1947 when Washington made its State Tree official, they picked:

The Western Hemlock.

Luckily for Washington, the Western Hemlock is a great tree. It is the largest member of the hemlock family. Its cambium and needles are edible and it is an important timber product.

Much more palatable than that awful Luke Duke.

To find out when your state celebrates Arbor Day, check out Arbor Day Dates Across America at

*Thanks to the Hair Color Flip Flop, I do believe my sister is now free to admire Bo Duke.


Entry filed under: Arbor Day, Dukes of Hazzard, trees, Washington State.

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Carolyn  |  April 8, 2009 at 10:54 am

    You also told me that I wasn’t allowed to like Chekov, and that I had to like Sulu.

  • 2. gasstationdave  |  April 8, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Wow, Vicky it took some real courage to admit that stuff. Thanks for sharing it so candidly =) LOL! Carolyn! Sulu, but not Chekov!

    I grew up (and I use the phrase loosely) last of 6 so I had a lot of “roles delegated to me” as well. Generally, I didn’t mind until I got to be about 37 or 38. I had to start drawing the proverbial line 😉

    Good times, and I enjoyed this blog entry!

  • 3. tgaw  |  April 8, 2009 at 11:08 am

    @Carolyn – Ah, yes, I remember that now too!

    Even though I had long grown out of John Schneider, I still have a place in my heart for Walter Koenig.

  • 4. tgaw  |  April 8, 2009 at 11:12 am

    @gasstationdave – Wow, the youngest of six! I bet you did get bossed around a lot!

  • 5. gasstationdave  |  April 8, 2009 at 11:33 am

    NONSTOP. Would you believe last September marks the FIRST time in my 40 years that I have not been? Believe it. Probably why I’m still a lil “shell shocked” but none the worse for the wear! I’ve made some great strides here with ya’lls help!

  • 6. becky L  |  April 8, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    What a great analogy! From a writer’s point of view, I love this blog! In terms of siblings and birth-order, I must be some kind of freak (duh) because, even as the oldest, I was most interested in making my youngers into peers. When I asked my sister Beth her opinion on a movie, she responded with: “My mind is your mind.” It was incredibly frustrating!

  • 7. Carolyn  |  April 8, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Hmm, I didn’t even notice the footnote until I saw the trackback on the hair color flipflop post. Thanks Google Reader for keeping me on my toes.

  • 8. ideonexus  |  April 8, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Does Carolyn still have to like Sulu since he came out of the closet?


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