August 19, 2019 - Robert John Hadfield
Parking in the Shadows
Sending Shade Into the Future
When you live in a place like St. George, Utah, shade is at a premium. During the summer it is common for the temperature to be well over 100 F degrees during the day. And with minimal cloud cover, a parked car truly becomes an oven. So people are always on the lookout for trees when they park their cars.
Our studio is located in a business park with almost no trees. So I frequently park a block away near a residential area under some giant trees.
When I was parking under one of these trees recently it occurred to me that the people who planted them probably never enjoyed this shade. Of course it was probably a landscape crew who were paid to plant them, but that actually drives home the idea of planting a tree. When you plant a tree you are rarely doing it for yourself. When you plant a tree you recognize that you may never benefit from it. A tree is a gift to the future.
This weekend I found myself in a parking lot where there was almost no shade. I found a spot near the back of the parking lot where one small tree cast a shadow just large enough to cover the hood of my car and part of the windshield. When I got out of my car I looked at the small tree and the shadow it cast. And then I looked around the parking lot. There were literally dozens of trees around the perimeter of the parking lot , around the building and dotting the islands between groups of parking spaces. Dozens of trees that have little value today but will have great value 20-30 years from now.
In 2000 I bought a house in Thornton, Colorado. At the time the house was nearly twenty years old. And although it was a nice house and had been taken care of, it is interesting to think about the things we talked about later that made this house special and unique; the things that pushed us over the edge on the purchase. Yes we liked the layout, it was a nice neighborhood, the house had four bedrooms, a large basement, etc. But there were dozens, maybe hundreds of houses in Denver that had the same specs. So the things that really stood out were the beautiful deck attached to the back of the house overlooking a park, and the giant tree in the front yard.
Most people tend to recognize the value of a full grown tree. The older the tree is, the more value it seems to have. Our tree was large enough that it shaded part of the house, the driveway and the front porch. It was so large we were concerned that the roots might damage the basement. But the idea of cutting it down seemed like a terrible waste; After all it would take another twenty years to replace it!
Trees are different than so many other things in our lives. In our modern world, value is often determined by something being new and young. Our cars, phones, appliances, computers, clothes, furnishings, etc., the list goes on and on. For most things in our life, value comes in things being fresh and new. But in the case of a tree, it has very little value when it is new. It takes many years before a tree reaches a point where it really has value. Indeed during the first few years of the life of a tree, you wouldn’t even miss it.
In the case of a tree, value increases with age.
Of course things like this make me think about our Audiomover business. If you really consider what you have, your audio and video tapes become more and more valuable to you everyday. The week after you filmed your daughter’s dance recital or son's football game you probably didn’t think much about it. If you lost it you would have felt bad of course, but nothing like you would feel losing it today. As the experiences captured on those tapes get further and further in the past, the more value they gather. And not just for you! Someday your great grandkids will want to know you. They will certainly cherish anything you leave behind; especially if it's something they can see and hear. If you could watch videos of your great grandparents wouldn’t you want to? If you had such a thing you would cherish it, protect it, make backup copies, etc.
Just like that tree, your old media will continue to increase in value to you. And also just like a tree, your old tapes will eventually die and rot away. And htey will do it much more quickly than a tree will. So gather your tapes today and send them to our studio. Preserve the incredible value of your memories while you still can.