By Mike James / Special to the OB Rag
Gather round young and old as I tell the tale of long ago.
It all started in a quaint inn1 on the shores of a mighty ocean in the Land of OB. Two brothers of a great clan of craftsman2 gathered around a table of libations, sheltered from the winter cold.
They spoke of warm summer winds on the beaches of OB and recent triumphs therein. It had been a gathering of villagers from far and wide to view a spectacular spectacle of light and sound3. This had given great joy to the local trade and citizens of OB alike. It was the beginning of renewed spirit that had nearly been lost in this enchanted land.
Having proudly championed a role in this milestone, the brothers spoke of new campaigns to once again bring happiness to their fellow Obceans.
With a chill in the air and the sounds of pounding surf close by, a harbinger of the coming festive season, they spoke of the celebrated great tree in a land far far away, in the Plaza of Rockefeller. This giant pine marked the start of this season of giving and rejoicing, a rare happenstance among the barbarians in this York of New.
Alas, the brother who was both Rich in spirit as well in name, inspired by the Tree of Rockefeller, proposed of a 20 feet tree that would grace the sands of OB with much fanfare and celebration. As the mead flowed from the casks, this illusionary tree grew to 30, 40, then 50 feet.
Yes, there were the naysayers, I the teller of this tale being one, who doubted the dreams of this man, who was Rich in spirit as well in name.
Undaunted, Rich proclaimed he would find a tree that would rival that of Rockefeller. They heard of an elder in the great white north who was the procurer of such trees of legend. Rich knew he must travel many days into uncharted territory to seek this man.
Rich sought the assistance of a fellow adventurer Kenny, the keeper of a trusty cart with many horses. They knew days of treacherous travel lay ahead, even through the dangerous highlands of the Vine of Grape, where many carts who ventured there, now lay ruined along its perilous icy roads. Yet they knew they must venture far north of even the Vine of Grape.
After many days of travel (to told be in other tales), Rich and Kenny had finally reached their destination, the snowy slopes of an ancient volcano4. Where it is said mystical fairies and pixies live within. It was here they found the elder, the procurer of legendary evergreens.
True to his word, he lay upon the cart a tree of such grandeur, of such magnificent proportions, a tree worthy of tales to be told through the ages, a tree worthy of being the first.
With the tree safely aboard, the return journey seemed to almost magically transport them back to the Land of OB in the blink of an eye.
There at the end of the main street of OB, upon the shores of the great ocean, the 60 foot tree was placed securely in the sand.
The villagers and the tradesmen, with much gladness in their hearts, gathered around silently to admire this tree, this symbol of community, of hope, of redemption, of love. A tree that had once been just the imagination of a dreamer.
Then with much joy, they marched down the main street, they laughed, they sang, they celebrated. Leading them all was a man who was both Rich in spirit as well as in name.
Even though Rich has passed, his tradition and his spirit shall continue.
This story is dedicated to his late brother Rich.
- Sunshine Company Saloon
- Rich and Ron James of the James Gang
- The First Annual Ocean Beach Fireworks Festival
- Mt. Shasta