The Killing Fields in Mandarin

An Award-Winning Expose

It started out as a normal trip to a normal shopping center.  Get the groceries and take a few photos to enter into the Southern Living 2013 Crepe Murder contest.  Like this one:

      One look at this and the customers will be beating down our door!

I soon realized that one picture, while definitely worth a thousand words (and maybe a prize in a contest), did not do justice to the the horror, the horror, the horror of horticultural homicides being committed all around me.  And not just to crepe myrtles.  I witnessed things that would qualify as torture under the Geneva Convention, if trees had had benefit of legal counsel in Geneva.  I have frequented many shopping centers, but this one deserves to be called the Gitmo of the plant kingdom.  Detainees, regardless of species, are subjected to procedures that scar them for life, a much shorter life than expected because of their treatment here.  Winn-Dixie Plaza may look like an innocent collection of chain stores, but those storefront windows reflect the images of hundreds (well, dozens) of innocent victims.

Read the story they would tell you, if trees could talk.  The Killing Fields in Mandarin:  Secret of Winn-Dixie Plaza (in PDF).

Author's Note, August 2014:  Great Clips is no longer operating in Winn-Dixie Plaza.  No confirmation that the closure was due to this posting.  The firm is still in business elsewhere, so Mothers, lock up your Crepe Myrtles!!!!  This happy writer won a nice medium-sized crepe myrtle by entering the above photo in Southern Living's 2013 Crepe Murder Photo Contest.  And despite the "Great Clip," the "victim" pictured here has managed to survive if not thrive in its hostile environment.  Sadly, the Bradford Pears still sport their festive fairy lights...
Dianne Battle,
Feb 22, 2013, 10:48 AM