When I think about Jacksonville, I think about so many different things. I think about places, experiences, people, and I think about the word home. Just like many other places around the world, there is the usual traffic, good & bad neighborhoods, and corporate chains, but there are also unique landmarks.
I wanted to do something unique for the video biography that we were assigned for a final project. The object is to have picked a “unique character” that some how represents what Jacksonville means to me. I choose an object that has been in the city for a couple of hundred years, Treaty Oak at Jesse Ball DuPont Park.
My first encounter with this mighty oak tree was when I was about 8 or 9 years of age. My grandmother took my brother and I to it one afternoon. We ran around and played on the huge branches. There is a different type of perspective when you are younger, things seem to be much bigger. It is just a tree, not the type that grows in your back yard, but a tree none the less. When seeing it for the first time as a child, it looked like a small group of trees from a distance. My grandmother quickly explained that it was just one very old tree and she visited it when she was younger. My imagination had me convinced that it was some sort of monster. Visiting the tree for this project made me reminisce of my late grandmother and also reminded me that this tree is still huge!
I thought about how Jacksonville has evolved over the last 100 years from a big town into a small city. It has a long way to go but continues to make great progress. Treaty Oak has been a constant. No matter what ups and downs the city has encountered, it has remained rooted and strong. It will continue to do so for many years to come. If you are in the downtown/San Marco area, it is worth the trip.