People celebrating. Toilet paper flying. A family. This is the typical scene at Toomer’s corner after winning a football game. It’s Auburn tradition that we all gather at the trees and cover them in toilet paper. We are a family.
The trees have been around for more than 130 years and most people do not know how the tradition came about. Many years ago Toomer’s Drug Store had the only telegraph in the city. They would be the first to know about a win. Employees would throw ticker tape over the power lines in order to let the community know. The power lines were moved underground in the early 90s. The tradition of rolling the trees was born.
Everyone has a memory from time spent at Toomer’s.
Abe Williams II, a junior majoring in communications, remembers his freshman year – 2010. “My most memorable moment regarding the trees was the celebration at Toomer's Corner following Auburn winning the BCS National Championship. The atmosphere around Toomer's Corner was surreal. I couldn't believe that in my freshman year, I had the opportunity to fully experience the Toomer's corner tradition at arguably the peak moment of the tradition's history. No one can ever take that memory away from me.”
January 27, 2011…the devastating news came that the trees had been poisoned. The world seemed to stand still for the next few months as tests were run and decisions were made. Since then, the world has started moving again, but things will never be the same. Nekia Avery, a senior in Wildlife/Pre-Vet, compares this event to living in a house that has been in the family for generations. One day that house burns down. “You can rebuild the house, but it’s not the same. The character that it had is gone.”
The impact of this situation has affected the entire Auburn family whether we realize it or not. Williams says that the trees are “a symbol of Auburn’s past, present and future.” Shane Burns, a senior in Chemical Engineering believes that the alumni have been impacted the most. “They are most likely to feel as though they’ve lost something. They experienced the tradition throughout their tenure as students.”
As an Auburn family, we will unite and press forward.
If you are interested in keeping up with the current status of the trees, read about it here.