The Branch

Many of us here at F+W are plagued by a strange obsession with a force of nature outside our building. It is quite simply a branch atop a 60 foot tree on the building’s north side.

But this is no ordinary branch. It has dangled from the top of this tree for months, maybe years, defying gravity with nary a budge. It faces and taunts some of us during our weekly HOW Books team meetings where we begin by staring out the window fantasizing and discussing the branch’s eventual fate.

Will it fall on its own? Could one of us somehow get up there to remove it? Could any of us climb that high or would a crane be in order? Perhaps a helicopter? When it falls will it make a noise if no one is there to hear it?

On September 14th Cincinnati suffered from a tremendous windstorm, the remnants of Hurricane Ike. Winds were reportedly gusting over 70 mph. It toppled trees of all sizes, left branches everywhere, tore siding from buildings, and at at one point left 90% of the area without power, F+W’s office included.

But The Branch remained.

Greg Nock, HOW Books’ production coordinator, has a special hatred for The Branch he calls Stickie. We’ve often contemplated Greg’s reaction should The Branch eventually fall. He has commented below:

“At first, I considered Stickie my mortal enemy. But his persistence has evolved my feelings to grudging respect. On the day he finally falls (assuming I’m not long-dead by that point), I will dance with glee…but my joy will be tempered by a subtle shade of grief.” —Greg Nock

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