What once ensured that I sat at a table next to the teacher is now posted, Monday through Friday.
I've contributed to perhaps the best humor compilation I've ever read. Available now on Amazon!
My second chapbook, "The Second Book of Pearl: The Cats" is now available as either a paper chapbook or as a downloadable item. See below for the Pay Pal link or click on its cover just to the right of the newest blog post to download to your Kindle, iPad, or Nook. Just $3.99 for inspired tales of gin, gambling addiction and inter-feline betrayal.
My first chapbook, I Was Raised to be A Lert is in its third printing and is available both via the PayPal link below and on smashwords! Order one? Download one? It's all for you, baby!
Monday, June 22, 2009
BOOM! Farewell to the Lowry Avenue Bridge
The Lowry Avenue Bridge came down Sunday morning a few minutes after 9:00.
Willie and I stood on the banks of the Mississippi River sharing a pair of binoculars.
The Lowry Avenue Bridge spanned the river for over a hundred years, linking North – a predominantly black neighborhood – and “Nordeast” – a predominantly Polish/Slavic neighborhood. My friend Bart, who grew up in Northeast Minneapolis, said that in the mid-70s the whites would stand on one side of the bridge and the blacks on the other and shout insults at each other hoping for a fight.
A joke for you, courtesy of Bart and a working-class Minneapolis neighborhood, circa 1975: Q: What’s the fastest way to go from Poland to Africa? A: The Lowry Avenue Bridge.
But the bridge had to go. Built in 1905, it hadn’t been worked on in any real capacity since 1958; and in 2004, one of the piers was found to have shifted 11 inches out of vertical alignment.
That doesn’t seem safe, does it?
So of course it’s not been driven on since 2008.
Today was the day of its demolition; and the full truth of the fact that light travels faster than sound was made evident as only an organic example can. One moment the bridge was there; then it was falling, smoke everywhere; and then there was the sound of dynamite: BOOM! BOOM!
And then the bridge was lying in the river looking for all the world like a dinosaur’s spinal column.
There’s another one being built, of course. And I won’t miss the old one – it had a creepy kind of grid-like surface that always made me feel that the car was shimmying – but there’s a kind of solemnity that goes with watching something so old, by Minnesota standards, anyway, go away.
You used to cross a river to link neighborhoods. Now you are about-to-be-recycled metal, linking the past to the future.