Wednesday, June 24

No Way I Was Going To Miss This...

Back in the '30s I remember the Broadway bridge that went across the big gulch to Laurel Street. It was an old rusty steel frame bridge with a wooden board surface. It had two wooden runners lengthwise on the bed to support the wheels of the cars. It was one way but still carried a lot of traffic. The boards were nailed down but they were still loose from age and the weather. I don't know how many times I stumped my big toe running across barefooted. Finally, with regret, I decided it would be better if I wore my shoes during the summer to avoid all that pain. I guess I crossed this bridge a million times going to school or downtown, our only connection with the outer limits of Hazard. There was no highway under the bridge then, just a creek and ravine that was as thick as a jungle. We threw a lot of rocks into the ravine and sometimes when we had an old model airplane we would put a big firecracker inside, set fire to the tail and fly it over the side. That was pretty spectacular when it exploded. But nobody else appreciated it as much as we did.

One day, in particular, I was crossing the bridge on the way home when I saw a big dog coming toward me. He was acting funny and foaming at the mouth. I knew he was bad news and had just started my retreat when the police car came up behind me. Someone had already called the cops. The policeman parked his car there on the bridge and went after the dog on foot. He told me to stay back but there was no way I was going to miss this. The cop pulled his pistol but the dog turned around and staggered back down Laurel Street toward my house. The cop fired once but missed. When he finally got closer for the kill he was right near my front door. Two more shots and he was finished. Man what a day that was. The Broadway Bridge is gone now along with many other landmarks in Hazard that always felt like home...

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