In Spring the sun gets hot. The shad run the Delaware and the fisherman, sports cars and the flowers come out. The order isn’t carved in stone.
The Reigelsville, Pa. to Reigelsville N.J. suspension bridge was built in 1904 replacing the wooden bridge which had been swept away by the grand flood of 1903. It lasted, the wooden bridge that is, some 70 years and that seems good enough by any reasonable standard. The present three span cable suspension bridge built by the firm of Robbeling Brothers (?)designers of the Brooklyn Bridge. It looks like a little Brooklyn Bridge so, I guess, you could call it family. The capitalization was done privately by the sale of 400 shares valued at $50 a piece, the total coming to $20,000.
Shortly thereafter came the inevitable fuss. This one was about weight capacity. Two reports were commissioned, generated and made public; each of opposite conclusion. Not much has changed. Heavier cables were added and today the bridge is operated as a tax supported entity by the Delaware River Joint Toll Commission which mans each side 24 hours a day to prevent over weight vehicles from bringing the 1904 bridge to a similar conclusion as its predecessor: the 1830 bridge.
In the spring of 1991, the shad were running under the river and the fisherman were setting on top of the river trying with varying degrees of success to catch them. The bridge continue above both of them not trying to catch anybody at all. Unless of course they were driving an over weight vehicle.
In the evening sun, a young lady wearing a cloth World War 1 aviators flying cap with long blond hair trailing behind, drove an MG TD, its paint faded brown and probably dating from its manufacture in the early ’50’S , across the bridge proving nothing particular other than life goes on splendidly both on old rivers and old river’s bridges.
ref:91c:\choice\bks\ladycar2.doc (c)H. Scott Heist 1991
The original photograph of the young woman, back-lit, driving across the bridge in an Early ’50’s MG TD. I owned one for years. This like mine was a drivers car. She wore an old leather aviator helmet. The texts are from a series of sketches done on Bucks County a generation ago when I worked predominately at Lehigh University doing something like 40 magazines and 4 times that many design pieces. A new, to my view a weak & sleazy, president was hired putting communications into the hands of local Amateurs who’s lack of talent was exceeded only by their viciousness and dedication to an ugly world. Many of these transparencies were trashed in my absence , on Lehigh Business. By many I mean perhaps a hundred thousand that was called by the Chronicle of Higher Education “perhaps the finest photographic collection on a major university by a single artist. I refused to surrender copyright to people who talked about the alums as if there were just people to roll in an alley. So they had the person I worked with for 25 years, trash the files into liquor store boxes to prove he was part of the “team”. For this he got to be “photo directer” a demotion from his position as design director.
Simply a note to state an example of what respect for art and history has been occasioned by Mac-adamia. It is important to realize how much art survives because a few individuals refuse to let the uglifier’s and sycophants destroy it. (“Uglifiers” was Czech Author Milan Kundera’s description of Authoritarian Soviet Aesthetics) akin to those created by similar opportunistic bureaucrats created by American educational institutions with no regard for ethics or basic courtesy. It can only get worse if no one speaks up. Fewer full time artists & journalists exist each year.
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