Tree of the Month: West

John Swanson | Photo Courtesy
This tree was nominated by Fargo local Pauline Dunn.

You can still get a blizzard when DQ closes

Honestly, up until this year, what could be more terrifying then a blizzard in October? Throwback to 1991, a year recognized in the Midwest because of a massive blizzard that occurred on, you guessed it, Halloween. The max snowfall was in Duluth, Minnesota at 37 inches (over the course of four days). That’s 0.000162 times the height of Mount Everest. Maybe that measurement is a little unreasonable. More relatable, the snow would have gone up past most peoples’ waists, or nearly to Danny DeVito’s shoulders. Regardless, Fargo was not nearly as affected by this blizzard, as the storm mainly rampaged through areas around Lake Superior. 

What if Fargo had been hit by this blizzard? Better yet, what if this Halloween brings a similar storm, or a worse one? The forecast says otherwise, so we will just have to picture what could have been. 

Wake Up Mr. West
This brings us to the Tree of the Month: West. No, not Kanye, this tree stands as a sort of homage to that Famous storm that chose to just Touch The Sky in Fargo. With North Dakota’s fickle weather, who is to say we couldn’t have a Pt. 2 later this year? Yikes. Anyway, poorly thought out Kanye puns aside, Mr. West (the tree) is probably old enough to have been standing back in 1991. It looks like it could have been. At that point, it was probably quite a bit smaller.

No, not Siri, Ceres
This tree stands between Ceres Hall and University Drive. As Halloween starts to fade into Thanksgiving then fades into the season of pure ice, West has lost a lot of its glamour that it deserved to hold onto in what has been a short autumn. Yet, with its gnarly branches, spreading out, it still looks quite stunning—if not just a bit spooky. 

Which Halloween would be spookier?
In considering what a Halloween nearly 30 years ago could have been in Fargo, it is interesting to see what October 31st brings this year. In the midst of a two week, two months, please not two-year-long pandemic, this is going to be an unusual holiday season. A blizzard would be preferable at this point, which really gives a perspective on what we allow to be a big deal. A life halting disease is a big deal. A life halting blanket of snow is also, but it’s been easy to think back on what was better even a year ago. 

Two layers of masks
It really doesn’t matter too much what could have been. This Halloween is the way it is and nothing will change tomorrow at this point. Living each day waiting for a better next, will slowly waste each moment until they’re all gone. So maybe the 1991 blizzard could have hit Fargo harder; this Halloween probably would have been better with only Jason masks and not a cloth one underneath. This year’s blizzard is just another one to zip up a jacket, grab your shovel, and push through it.

Take it Yeezy
This wonderful tree West not only stands for what could have been but stands confidently in what is now. Whatever Halloween brings this year, West will stand through it and bear the history of another year. Still… what would have it been like if that blizzard had decided to visit a little West?

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