Oak trees…

Contributing Editor

Walter W. Pickut

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s an old saying that just about everybody knows, but it’s hard to do much with it.

If you want to get into the lumber harvesting business, for example, you’ll need to wait at least 20 years for your little acorn to even get to a 12” diameter and start making its own acorns. But you’ll probably have to wait for another 60 or 80 years before a bushel of acorns can turn into a wood lot mature enough for a good harvest.

As a matter fact, an oak tree doesn’t reach old age until it’s about 700 years old in a life span that can reach 1,000. In the end, it will simply return to the soil it was growing in—the same plot of ground a tiny acorn had taken root in a millennium before.

It’s been estimated that over its entire life span, an oak tree will produce as many as 10 million acorns. That’s a forest in a nutshell by anybody’s definition.

Ralph Waldo Emerson knew his acorns. It takes a special kind of imagination to look at an acorn and see a forest 100 or 1,000 years away.

This week’s Jamestown Gazette offers you a story on page 1 about some other folks with that kind of vision. For them, however, it was just a few words that served as their acorn, and the oak tree they grew sprouted right away. And in a mere 10 years it’s begun to produce a wonderful harvest with much more coming in the years to come.

The words they grew were words they found right here in this column in the Jamestown Gazette. They were words about the real meaning of sharing and the simple fact that the best gifts bless both the giver and the receiver alike.

So our invitation to you this week is to take what you read in the Gazette every week, whatever you can find between the first and last pages, that can inspire you to do something new, something more, or something altogether unexpected that will help somebody else in your community.

The key to this idea, however, will be a special kind of reading. It’s more than reding for information, for entertainment, or for instructions about how to find your way to a special place or event you want to enjoy. It is reading to be inspired.

From the outset, the Jamestown Gazette has aimed to bring you stories about good people doing good things and succeeding at something new. We set out to nurture the “Jamestown Renaissance” concept which was introduced here years ago. We highlight successes to encourage others hoping and planning to do the same.

So the story about Hooktown Holidays in Warren, PA on the cover of this issue is a story of just one more acorn sewn, grown, and prospering, and one more success story to inspire you from your Jamestown Gazette.

Enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut
Contributing Editor

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Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.