Under the Trees in SiIicon Valley


What do trees have to do with Alzheimer's Disease? It all has to do with simple observation of Juan. There are some old trees around here. In this case, the tree is probably over 160 years old, before the Civil War, when California was not yet a state.

At that time, the Live-Oak studded flats and hills were roamed by Grizzly Bears, the only thing that could frighten the sturdy rancheros of the Californios the Spanish speaking population of Alta California that looked after the great estates of the notables. The coming of Leland Stanford's Central Pacific railroad (later known as the Southern Pacific) and made famous by the golden spike driven at Promontory, Utah changed everything. One of the early lines of the Southern Pacific cuts through the town.

A tree crew was working at a location fairly close to Willie Mays house (he of the bronze statue in front of Pac Bell Park in San Francisco) cutting down some massive trees.

I told him a little of our aim to fight Alzheimer's. He waved a gloved hand at the trees, the air pungent with the smell of oak wood shavings under a strong February sun. "My friend, what your are telling me sounds like the trees. The sap has to keep moving, or the tree gets a fungus that grows, then turns the wood into a sponge. You've got to care for your trees like you take care of a friend. Even if they are as old as yours, they stay healthy. If you can help people like we help the trees, that will be something."

Thanks for the wisdom, Juan

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