Living history in Napa
In 1905, Queen Victoria visited Australia and ceremonially planted an oak tree. It’s growing in a park in Melbourne.
In 1982, Russ Quinell visited Melbourne, and picked up an acorn from beneath that tree. He then smuggled it back into the US, and planted it in his front yard.
So right there in Napa is a direct descendant of the tree Queen Victoria planted, courtesy of some ingenuity and a small felony.
Three years ago, Russ was in South Africa, and visited the prison where Nelson Mandela was held. Sure enough, there was a tree by the front gate, and Russ wanted a living souvenir. Once again he risked his liberty to bring back an acorn, and once again he has a piece of living history in his yard–this one isn’t quite large enough to plant permanently yet.
Anyone can bring home a T shirt or snow globe, Russ manages to bring home something much more meaningful and long lasting. Color me impressed.