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*Very Odd article in paper, regarding an incident in Aruba**


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IT began as one of those grand winter vacations, far away from the gray skies of the Quad-Cities.


It ended in tragedy for Cy Dietz, 72, Moline. At a resort on the tourist island of Aruba, he was killed by a falling palm tree.


Death in such an idyllic setting is tragically incongruous.

Cy Dietz, a guy who always acted happy, savored travel and usually spent six winter weeks in Florida. This year, he was taking a cruise. With him was a long-time friend, Ron Carlson, a former Moline school teacher. The cruise began in the Caribbean seas, and Dietz was looking forward to passing through the Panama Canal. The first shore stop was Aruba, an island off the coast of Venezuela. There, Dietz visited the Wyndham, a cushy resort at seaside.

Most all the Wyndham deck chairs were occupied at the pool where Dietz was lounging. Then, the horror of a loud crack. A tall poolside date palm tree snapped, slamming down on those beneath it. Among them was Dietz. The trunk of the giant palm tree fell directly on him. Others frantically rushed to lift it. .

“We believe that death was almost instantaneous,” says his daughter, Leslie Hird, Rock Island. “This was horrible, one of those things you can’t believe would occur at a peaceful resort.” .

The accident happened Jan. 26, and Quad-City news accounts described his death “as a result of injuries received in an accident in Aruba.” There was nothing more, other than a routine obituary. His body was returned to the Quad-Cities, and services were held at St. Pius Catholic Church in Rock Island. .

We’re glad to get the story out about what happened to Dad,” says Leslie, who has copies of the Diario, an Aruba newspaper. The death of Dietz and injuries to others was the lead story on the front page under the headline: “Mata Grandi Di Dader A Cay Matando Turista.” A rough translation, provided to Leslie and her husband, Kevin, is “Big date palm falls killing tourist.” .

“It happened on the fourth day of the trip,” Kevin says. “My father-in-law was not staying at the hotel; it was just one of those shore stops for passengers of the cruise ship.” .

Says Leslie: “Since the accident, I’ve heard from endless people who were there when the tree snapped. They have our e-mail address through the Wyndham resort. All have stories to tell. One woman from New Jersey said she had been sitting in the beach chair that Dad had used just before the tree fell on him and others.” .

On the Aruba travel Web site, one spectator wrote: .

“The tall palm tree in front of the pool bar bingo area snapped in two from the wind, which was strong but not blowing much harder than it had on prior days. By the time I sprinted over there, about 60 or 70 people had their arms around the tree, lifting it up and pulling people from under it. The older gentleman (Dietz) took the brunt of the force. Staff of the hotel stated the particular palm tree, along with others, had been there for more than 27 years, and none of the others had ever fallen. I overheard staff concerns that people may now be afraid to lounge under the palms.” .

Dietz retired in 1996 from the Rock Island Arsenal where he held supervisory roles for 32 years. He was a regular traveler who had been to Europe and motored around the United States. .

Dietz was the only fatality in the palm tree accident. His traveling partner was unhurt. Ron Carlson had chosen to sit in the shade about 15 yards away. Three other people were seriously injured. .

Dietz was the ultimate helping hand who took particular joy in kids, especially grandchildren, to whom he loved to read. At the funeral his son-in-law, said in a eulogy, “For those of you who have read the children’s book, ‘The Giving Tree,’ by Shel Silverstein, you will understand why we can refer to Cy as our ‘giving tree.’ .

“As Silverstein concluded in his book, ‘and now the tree was happy.’ As we conclude this chapter … and Cy was happy.”



**Sorry this was so long, I just waned to share with everyone** Really odd that this is one of the places myself and my DH will be traveling this fall.:confused:

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DH and I have stayed at this beautiful Wyndham property three times. Makes you think how valuable life is when you never know when your time is up. Was this a case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time or just Cy's time to go?

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