Two young trees were planted in front of Hamilton's City Hall Friday as part of an Arbor Day ceremony April 29. There was a large art display, with creations by kids at Daly School and the Bitterroot Public Library, set up by the main entrance. Mayor Dominic Farrenkopf and Amy Fox, city director of parks and forestry, made Arbor Day comments, and the mayor read an official proclamation.

The trees replace two old, diseased trees that were removed last year. Fox invited Hamilton residents to contact her office for questions about trees, including which types might be suited for the Bitterroot Valley., and how to control pests.

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Music was provided by members of the Montana Acapella Society. Then, continuing his unofficial role as Ravalli County's "poetry promoter," Dominic read one of his handcrafted poems - just for Arbor Day. We include it here:

Arbor Day poem from Hamilton Mayor Dominic Farrenkopf

Spent

On a whim I took a drive
to my childhood home.
I knocked on the door
and asked, if around I could roam.
***
The owner was polite
and permitted my request.
I crossed the yard and fence
towards the pasture to the west.
***
There’s a small ditch
beneath a huge ponderosa pine.
I stepped over the ditch
and suddenly I was nine.
***
I’d jump up high and grab
the lowest branch of the tree.
I’d pull myself up and climb
‘til miles I could see.
***
I would sit in the tree
if I needed to simmer.
The pine always pointed me
to hope’s twinkling glimmer.
***
Near the pine was a larger ditch
that cut the field.
I looked up the ditch
and saw the crab apple yield.
***
There were two large trees
where crab apples were abundant.
I thought of their spring blossoms-
never found redundant.
***
When the trees brought forth
their apples in the summer time,
I’d pluck them, and ditch float them,
at the peak of their prime.
***
I’d launch them from the ditch bank
like ships leaving the pier.
They’d fall to the ground too,
a treat for whitetail deer.
***
Across the big ditch a ways,
was a sizable pond.
I gazed across to see
three aspen trees just beyond.
***
I strode quickly towards them
as memories flooded back.
I had to get to the fort-
we were under attack!
***
The three aspen trees grew tall
in a tight formation,
and served as my tree fort,
cock pit, and crow’s nest station.
***
The ladder boards were still nailed
tight to the tree trunks.
I climbed up two of them,
they seemed to be sturdy hunks.
***
As a grown man now,
my head was above the platform.
I thought of tree house picnics
held in the sun, so warm.
***
There were battles fought and won,
and great adventures had,
in the jungle, the sky,
on the sea, all as a lad.
***
The green leaves rustled
and reality floated back.
I climbed down and began walking
on the return track.
***
As I moseyed on back,
I relished my memories,
of my childhood here…
And my time spent with the trees!

Dominic “Flominic” Farrenkopf

Dominic writes an original peom each week which he reads on the Friday morning "Event Show" at 1240 AM KLYQ and www.klyq.com. Also on that website, you'll find "Poem Home," where previous "flominic" rhymes are round - updated weekly. He has his own poetry website, too.website

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