An upset Auburn family can only bring them closer together. As the Auburn family has been dealing with the poisoning of our beloved oak trees on Toomer’s corner, we have only grown closer together in determination that this will not defeat the spirit of the Auburn family.
While being home for the weekend I had the opportunity to talk with Auburn alumni, Shane Johnson, who studied horticulture while at Auburn in 1993. Johnson's family expressed their feelings of anger towards the thought of losing a great tradition. Johnson remembers the first time he got the experience of rolling Toomer’s corner. “Rolling Toomer’s became something that I looked forward to on fall Saturdays,” said Johnson.
After Johnson graduated from Auburn, he moved back to his hometown of Anniston, Ala., where he began a family. Johnson, his wife and three kids have been coming to Auburn for football games the past four years. Johnson wants his kids to get the Auburn game day experience young. The kids now ask “when are we going to Auburn?” “My kids can’t wait to get to Toomer’s corner after football games and throw their roll of toilet paper in the trees,” said Johnson.
When Johnson tried explaining that someone had poisoned these big oak trees, Seth and Aaron, 6-years-old, did not understand. They questioned why someone would be so mean to do this. Johnson couldn’t explain this. They still did not understand.
Johnson, being a former horticulture student, believes that there is hope for these trees. “I know the knowledge that is in the horticulture department at Auburn and have faith that they will overcome this obstacle and save the oaks,” said Johnson
Johnson believes that the Auburn spirit has been taken to another level and forever lives there at Toomer’s corner, whether there are oak trees there or not.
I know that the spirit has been instilled in my kids even at a young age and years from now they will still remember rolling the Toomer’s oak trees after football games.
“There is something special about a father and son relationship, but when you add Auburn to that relationship and it takes it to a new level. I hope my boys will be able to take their boys to Auburn and Toomer’s corner and share the tradition of rolling the mighty oaks with them,” said Johnson.