What I recognized most in my classmates is that the spark of life still shines. Dimmed in some by loss others by financial or health struggles, it still shines trough the twinkle in an eye, that crooked little smile, or wide grin I remember from so long ago.
The reason for the smaller trees in the past was fire, no doubt caused by logging operations in the early part of the 20th century. The same fires burned Dolly Sods; both produced a unique landscape that is now returning to something akin to the original heavy forest cover. I’m not so sure it might be time to burn both again to regain the special character they had for nearly a century. I’m sure the idea would be controversial, but worth consideration..