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Harvey Updyke

Harvey Updyke

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Another notable man died last week, and regrettably, public reaction has been far from generous.

Harvey Updyke, a committed fan of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide, poisoned the storied oak trees at Auburn’s Toomer’s Corner following the Tigers’ defeat of the Tide in the 2010 Iron Bowl. Updyke boasted of his crime anonymously on Paul Finebaum’s radio show in early 2011, and was quickly identified as the culprit. After extensive, expensive coddling, the trees eventually died, and Updyke was prosecuted and ordered to pay several hundred thousand dollars in restitution.

Updyke rose from obscurity to become a pariah to Auburn and Alabama fans alike, and then died relatively young at 71 after a decade under the suffocating weight of public scorn. But he was once a public servant, having spent time as a state trooper in Texas. He has family, and children who mourn the loss of their daddy.

Who among us would want to be remembered solely for the most regrettable thing we’ve done in our life?

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