As a young Boy Scout working on my forestry merit badge I spent plenty of afternoons in the study of Mr. Quincy Baird Hershey Sr., a trapper, naturalist, and family friend.
I remember Mr Hershey telling me stories about his youth, and his reverance for the great and mighty giants of the forest. He spoke in hushed awe about the mighty American Chestnut and I swear he almost teared up when he told me about thier demise. Like a dark incantation, the word “blight” hung upon his lips almost as if he was straining to hold it back – as if he could reverse its devastating effects if he just knew the counter spell.
I remember struggling to understand such vast ecological ramifications, and looking suspiciously at the traitorous Chinese Chestnut in my backyard.
Although Mr. Hershey has long since returned to the soil, it looks like his hopes weren’t in vain. I was elated to read this good news my wife sent me this morning.
Although I will be long in the ground before planks are milled from these trees, maybe a grand-daughter or grand-son of mine will have the chance to work this magnificent wood.