The novel is based on the real efforts to save the Witness Tree in 1991. Billy Bardin’s quest begins when K-Mart plans to develop a shopping center at the site of the five-hundred-year-old tree. As Billy studies the tree’s history for a school assignment, his grandfather tells him about his career laying out roads and racetracks as a surveyor. Grandpa shows Billy his beautiful old brass transit, the instrument he used to survey land, and explains how the Witness Tree was the point from which all property in Arlington was measured. Billy’s mother inadvertently gives the transit to a church rummage sale, and Billy sets off to recover it, save the tree, and restore Grandpa’s dignity.
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Published by Texas Christian University Press