Sandy whipped through Newport like a bat out of hell and now that she’s long gone, our sweet city is wilted in her wake. While some lucky souls survived the storm unscathed, others were sadly affected quite drastically. As we cruised through the streets of Newport this morning, the streets were littered with broken branches and fallen trees. Our minds traced back to one of our favorite childhood stories, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. This charming tale is about a young boy and a tree. The tree always provides the boy with what he wants: branches to swing on, shade to sit and apples to eat in. As the boy grows older, he takes more and more of the tree. The tree loves the boy very much and gives him anything he asks for. In an ultimate act of self-sacrifice, the tree lets the boy cut it down so the boy can build a boat in which he can sail. The boy leaves the tree, now a stump. Many years later, the boy, now an old man, returns, and the tree sadly says: “I’m sorry, boy… but I have nothing left to give you.” But the boy replies: “I do not need much now, just a quiet place to sit and rest.” The tree then says, “Well, an old tree stump is a good place for sitting and resting. Come, boy, sit down and rest.” The boy sits down and is once again for the final time, provided for by the tree. During this calm after the storm, we’d like to pay tribute to the fallen trees in Newport. We thank you for the shade, the protection, the vibrant fall foliage that we have enjoyed year after year. Thank you for the beauty you have added to the historic landscape, and for the sweet oxygen you have given us. You will be missed.