Wednesday, September 30, 2009

High on the Bridge

I am starting to feel like a regular person again. I get up early, work a bit, run (RUN!), work and play with the kids all day, help coach soccer or swimming many evenings, and then sleep. I did not sleep well when I wasn't running (not that I'm such a great sleeper most of the time). But for the moment, thank the nocturnal fairies, I am sleeping.

It's early on a Sunday morning as I write this. I'm planning to meet Bob at 6 to run trails for three hours in the drizzly rain. All is well in my little world.

Since I missed out on the VT 50 this year (which, from the looks of some of the blogs I've read, was quite a slippery mud fest), I have no fun race report to share. Instead, here is a bit of Non-Running Material: My neighbor and I have started a small literary magazine for kids at the local library called Lowercase Magazine. We are in the midst of putting out our second issue, and have decided add a new and exciting feature: The Interview. The idea is to let the Lowercase kids decide who to interview, but to get the ball rolling, we made an Executive Decision to interview one of the operators on the Mystic River Drawbridge.

This drawbridge is an icon here in Southeastern Connecticut. It stops traffic every hour on the :40 to let the boats go through. It is a beautiful bridge and quite a tourist draw. In summertime, tourists are constantly running out of their cars to video and photograph the bridge going up.

Last Wednesday afternoon, right after Storytime at the library, a bunch of our homeschooling friends joined us on the bridge to interview Rod, the friendliest bridge operator you ever want to meet. Here we are walking up to the front door of the bridge house.

I have lived here in Mystic for years and years; I have seen the bridge go up and down hundreds of times. All through the spring and summer I plan my driving life around that bridge. But I have never been up in the control tower. I think this may have been more exciting for me and the other moms than it was for the kids!

Here we are, the intrepid interview team, up in the control room looking down on the water and street traffic below.

(photo by Denise Davies)

And here is the control panel where all of the magic happens. We learned that this control panel is going to be replaced, along with the bridge motors and the operator's house itself, in a three-year project starting November 2010.

We were lucky enough to be up in the control room during a bridge opening. (No boats were waiting to go through, actually, but the operator did a "test opening" for us, much to the chagrin, I'm sure, of the people stopped in cars down below. Sorry people!) You can kind of see the bridge starting to go up through the window in the picture up there.

And here it is all the way up.

Damn near knocked my socks off! What a cool day........


  1. Pam - I love your magazine idea!! It is so great that you are back running. Running is such a gift that I will never again take for granted!

  2. Thanks for organizing this interview, Pam. It was so much fun - I feel like we are part of a very exclusive club now!

  3. Thanks, Michele. You, too. Great run at Breakneck yesterday!

    Aimee: Yes....The rare and exciting People Who Have Been Up To See The Bridge Guy.


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