Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The bridge

The local Chamber of Commerce was doing a meet and greet in the town of Cordova today. I maintain the Chamber's website and do the newsletter so I swung by for a few moments to sip some tea, shake hands, and shoot photos, before heading to a session I had scheduled in Jasper.

There was a young policewoman there and during our conversation, I remembered something I hadn't thought of in years.

When I was a kid, the closest dentist was in the town of Cordova which was about eight miles from our house and across the Warrior River. I HATED going to Cordova. It wasn't just going to the dentist, it was driving over the old bridge.

It was a steel structure with a wooden roadbed. Over the years, the bridge deteriorated and the ends of some of the boards broke off and fell into the river. The bolts fastening the wood to the structure had worked loose which made driving treacherous.

My mother always drove across that bridge slowly because it freaked her out too, and she didn't want to get off on the edge and fall through into the river. While I loved to swim, falling into the cold dark water inside a Buick that weighed just slightly less than one of the Great Pyramids, did not appeal to me.

The boards clattered as cars drove across the ancient bridge. Even driving slowly, the sound was almost deafening. A few times I conjured up enough courage to look out the windows as we crossed that bridge. In places, you could see through the missing ends of boards all the way to the water 40 feet below.

To say it made me uneasy would have been an understatement. In fact, my rear end almost chewed holes in the upholstery during those infrequent dentist trips. It was enough to make me brush my teeth with more diligence.

Thankfully there is a new bridge now. I say that tongue and cheek because the new bridge was built over 30 years ago, but I can tell you, I don't miss the old one.


  1. Anonymous8:15 PM

    Bad enough having to see the dentist, but...!!

  2. WE fish near a bridge like that on a yearly fly fish trip. It makes the same kind of noise but is not as scary. It is owned and maintained by a Mennonite family and they take good care of it, often replacing older wooden planks.

  3. I think they squeezed as many years out of the rural bridges they could. We had a couple in our town. They weren't 40', closer to 15, boys enjoyed the diving.. I know what you mena about 'new' stuff that is 20-30 yrs old. LOL

  4. There was a tiny bridge on our property which people used to go onto since it was on one of those back roads-also creaky and old but there was just a little creek and only a few feet. What you had to drive across is just nuts

  5. Funny how a conversation can trigger old memories. I'm glad the old bridge has been replaced.I can't imagine driving on a rickety bridge like that.
    Have a great day.

  6. I've had the experience of riding over a wooden bridge that clattered. It's been replaced too. Your experience was quite different though as my trip meant going to my grandparents, not the dentist. Never have liked going to the dentist, but going to my grandparents house was always a joy.

  7. I know old bridges can freak me out even now at the age of 53, not as much as going to the dentist though


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