Sunday, June 01, 2008

A Bridge Too Old

South of my hometown of Manheim, near where I work, is what the old timers call "The Junction." You take Auction Road west, past Junction Road to about 10 houses. Back in the day (sorry, I don't want to make a lot of the old jokes. The elderly are a wealth of information) the trains would past through this small little village. They still do. Right beside The Junction runs Chickies Creek (or Chiques Creek to give credit to the Chiques Indian tribe from this area.) And spanning the crick (that's how we say it) is the bridge of Auction Road. I don't know how old it is. I know that this one guy at work used to ride his bike on the side of it when crossing it. He's 70 years old and tells that story constantly. He always saying about him and his buddies fishing here or going crick stomping. My brother and I used to do the same thing when we were younger. My brother and a friend of ours used to drag race their trucks on Auction Road and the bridge, because it was a one lane bridge, would be finish line. Remember you know you're from Lancaster (not pronounced like the actor Burt Lancaster) County if you know where there is at least 5 to 10 places to drag race. An added plus, if you were moving at a high rate of speed you could get some air in your vehicle. And proceed to scrape the bottom. The years of wear and tear have taken their toll.

The other day coming home from work, I was headed towards the bridge. A Penn Dot (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Headaches) sign stated that the road will be closed on June 2nd. I know I'm jumping to conclusions, but I got the feeling they're gonna tear down the bridge. The big thing in the U.S. is the repair of our roads and bridges. And this bridge is pretty bad. In the end they'll replace it with a better bridge, seeing this one can only handle up to five tons and there is a lot of traffic from my work. The idea of a historical bridge coming down, though, makes my kind of sad.

So this morning I went and took pictures of the bridge. I never had the chance with other bridges that were raised and replaced. I want to be able to remember what it looked like and all the memories that went with it. When I was taking pictures of it this morning, with the birds chirping, the crick flowing, and the wind blowing thru the leaves, for some reason I was thinking of the Frank Sinatra song "It Was A Very Good Year." Catch you on the flipside.

Next Time: Good Things Happen To Those Who Buy Their Time


Savage said...

I enjoyed many a crick stompins as a youngin. I hope that since that bridge is quite historical that it might be just reinforced, if it is a heavily used bridge. (Nationally there are a lot of bridge worries lately because of our aging infrastructure.)

There are a lot of old bridges back East that are no longer used and are at the side of the highway. They're a neat bit of history and should just be allowed to grow older in peace. (There's not as much history, like that, on the West coast.)

Amber said...

Well written article.