Near the end of “The Shawshank Redemption,” Morgan Freeman’s character, Red, sits under a stately oak tree to read a letter from his friend, Andy, played by Tim Robbins.
“Remember, Red,” the letter said. “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
The oak had remained one of the enduring images from the 1994 prison-escape film. Fans had flocked by the thousands every year to the tree, which stood in a private field in Lucas, Ohio, about halfway between Columbus and Cleveland. Now, many are grieving after heavy winds knocked over the oak on Friday.
So long dear friend, you will be missed.... RIP #ShawshankTree :-(
— John Leonidou (@UEFAcomJohnL) July 25, 2016
“The tree symbolizes hope” to its many visitors, said Jodie Snavely, an official with the Mansfield/Richland Convention and Visitors Bureau. “When they can actually come and see that, it’s very touching to them, and it means a lot to them.”
In the movie, Andy described the spot as “like something out of a Robert Frost poem.”