Oak Christmas Tree
GK: Here in New York, we're lucky enough to see the official Christmas tree of the country, the tree at Rockefeller Center. It was a tradition begun by the construction workers as they built the complex. It is a beloved symbol of Christmas---
AT: Not beloved by everybody.
GK: Who are you?
AT: I'm Al Timber, president of the Oak Tree Growers of America.
GK: Oak Tree Growers have an organization?
AT: You bet. With branch offices all over the country.
GK: And you're here---?
AT: I'm protesting the Rockefeller tree.
GK: What exactly are you protesting?
AT: What's the big deal about pines? Why is it always a pine tree? Why not the maple? The Oak? Why not use the larch?
GK: The Larch?
AT: All fine, upstanding trees. You want big, just put a redwood out there. These Rockefellers are barking up the wrong tree.
GK: The pine is a tradition. It's evergreen, I guess, symbolizing eternal life with Christ.
AT: Oh, it's a tree. It's a pine tree. What's that make you think of...pining away, pining for something. What's so festive about that? And it's a soft wood. Soft and weak and mealy. Now look at this oak. It's all pretty colors and you don't even have to decorate it! It does that naturally.
GK: Yes, but the leaves are falling off. It's kind of bare, no?
AT: It's not bare, it's convenient. Makes it that much easier to hang lights. And look how nicely those ornaments hang.
GK: Those are unusual ornaments.
AT: They're acorns. I painted them. I put glitter on this one.
GK: It's striking.
AT: And this is the way it's supposed to be.
GK: Why do you say that?
AT: Because it's just like that Christmas carol.
GK: Which one?
AT: "Oak Christmas Tree, Oak Christmas Tree, how lovely are thine branches..."
GK: Thank you for your time and insights. It's apparent the nut doesn't fall far from the tree.
AT: Exactly. Remember, America, there's lots of perfectly good trees out there. Just for the taking. Remember, you can't see the forest for the trees!
GK: A message from the Oak Growers of America.