The following is part of a series of snippets that document the event of an opening of a new bridge in Groveland, Massachusetts- and the shuttering of a tired old bridge
On September 19th, in the year 2013 the striking new structure began to receive those who waited for so long, in anxious anticipation, for this momentous occasion that would herald in a new experience for all who wished to traverse the expanses of the mighty river.
The dignitaries arrived with coats and papers. The workers milled around in quiet anticipation of witnessing their work be assaulted by feet first , and then soon thereafter , motor vehicles already aligned on both approaches to be "the first" to travel over.
The ribbon was stretched , the high school band nervously waited in the sweltering heat only minutes after making a grand march to the center of the structure known as the bascule. Ah the bascule, that part that is apt to open and swallow unsuspecting passerby's and cars if a sailing vessel ever imposed its Maritime right of way without ample notice.
On on the bascule's deck the make-shift stage of flags were posted and the podium positioned to enable the dignitaries to speak their self-importance -speak while the children patiently waited to have their own glorious march across the structure.
But in addition to all these things there were other more pronounced or subtle realities depending on one's own disposition. There was a soft breeze, a piercing sun and familiar clanking and banging of car tires against an old , tired bridge . How surreal it was for some to hear those protesting sounds without having to travel over that old bridge to produce them. The sounds and sensations were perceived from an adjacent position of an imposing and shining new bridge , juxtaposed against a sagging old and gray bridge.
But the most startling sound was the silence of the children. Patiently waiting for the band to play , the dignitaries to proclaim important things that were unimportant to them, they were the last to participate in the opening ceremony by crossing the full expanse of the glorious new structure and then afterwards, they quietly and patiently clamored to secure a piece of the treasured ribbon that heralded this event.
Joe D'Amore writes from Groveland, MA