From a collection of 100-word stories & wonders

One man’s oath-sworn love stands the test of time. Inspired by sad news concerning the 600-year-old White Oak of Basking Ridge, NJ. Photo by Ekem, via Wikimedia.


In 1720, beneath the churchyard’s overleafing oak, Jonas Westbridge swore an oath to Sarah Ashworth. “Sarah, my darling, our love will endure longer than this here tree, so help me ’twill. Will you be my wife?” Sarah consented. After forty-four years and six children, the Westbridges, by all accounts, were still quite spry, and remarkably well-preserved. Tragically, traveling the road to Philadelphia in 1764, the couple’s buggy vanished without a trace. On September 21, 2016, the day word spread of the oak’s demise, a good-looking elderly couple from California came to stand beneath it, arm in arm.

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