Looking Back

The old saying “the more things change, the more they stay the same” works most of the time but lets face it, change is change. This bridge is about two and a half miles from White City and I’ve taken my motorcycles here spanning the last 16 years or so because of the cool backdrop the bridge provided. But time marches on, infrastructure needs improving and old country bridges need some lovin’ too. To me this old bridge wasn’t bothering anyone but that’s just me being selfish.

Growing up in White City Kansas, there are many places where the past is still very present. Old buildings and houses, some abandoned, a brick street running through the heart of town, an old water tower most recently repainted and a whisper of the sound of a town once thriving. Don’t get me wrong, there is life in this town of mine but you have to know where to look. White City isn’t immune to progress, after all we have seen such progress in our city streets, Co-op, school and those entrepreneurs keeping their businesses going. It’s a great place to have grown up. But, back to this old bridge.

The first time I traveled out the bridge only to see trees had been removed and construction was under way, I was a little shocked. Word travels fast around these parts and I hadn’t heard anything about the bridge being replaced. I’m not sure the county owed me a phone call, but the surprise of what I saw left me a little sad. This was a great spot to ride out to and stop, kick rocks off the edge and listen to the water pass underneath. Once in awhile there would be fresh graffiti painted on the supports giving you, at minimum, the year of the graduating class, give or take a year or more, and maybe the status in relationships tagged with a heart. A place where feelings were expressed, good or bad, with a can of spray paint. As the construction progressed, the scene turned into an unstoppable step forward.

The small town guy in me will miss this bridge for many reasons. Just like the memories of growing up in a town at a time when every storefront had a business, the constant cruising down the street on Saturday night and being home at midnight was a thing. The motorcyclist in me will miss it for a peaceful destination and appreciation for it’s service to the county. Oh, and for a backdrop for pictures.

There are plenty of places like this – old and interesting – that would make a fine place to picture my motorcycles, but this place was special. I’ve grown up in this area and watched the landscape change around me, yet it basically stays the same. You only need to know where to look.

6 thoughts on “Looking Back

  1. that was a good bridge ,, bob arnold came down from chicago .. we took dad’s old tan 65 chev out hunting ,, we came over the crest of that hill … i thought we were going to get wet … shotgun shells went flying .. along with me .. no seatbelts in them old trucks .. wow.. memories of that bridge .. good ones

  2. I miss this ol’ bridge, too. Very much. I learned about it being replaced in this way. One of the surveyors that works for us stuck his head in my office one morning before he headed out to work somewhere that day. Knowing I was from White City, he said, “I was in your old stomping grounds yesterday.” I asked him why, and he said he was staking a bridge for construction. (We do a lot of construction staking for contractors.) I asked him where specifically. He still had the plans for the new bridge with him, he pulled out the plans and showed me. Honestly, my heart sank a little bit knowing that ol’ bridge was being replaced. Anyway………..great story, Jeff, as usual. I enjoy the things you write. Keep it up. And thank you for the trip down memory lane and how you so accurately captured what it was like back then. Take care.

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