Gilmer Free Press

Jeanette Riffle: Swinging Bridge Experiences

The Free Press WV

At one time, there were a lot of those old bridges around. There are still a few. My husband remembers falling through one down the road from us, across the creek from where Dee Cottrell now lives. He was a teenager at the time and was going across the creek to hunt. The bridge was getting old and not being maintained.  After he got his groundhog and was on his way back home, he fell through a board and hit the bank.  It’s a good thing that he fell where he did because there wasn’t enough water in the creek at the time. The creek was low, and he would have gotten hurt had he fallen to the creek. I remember a time when me, my brothers, and some cousins, had to watch out for a missing board of the swinging bridge across the creek at our Stewart grandparents farm. We had sneaked off and went over to the old abandoned Fitzpatrick house. We got spooked in there by noises and “flew the cat hole!”  All the little boys ran ahead of my older girl cousin and me.  By the time we got there, those boys had that bridge swaying so bad, that we had to get down on our knees and crawl across and then get up at the other end and step across the missing board, to the bank. I never went across again but I heard of some cousins from Michigan who ventured over there and one of the boys fell through and he swam to the bank and pulled himself up out of the water.

I was reading about some comical experiences that other people have had with swinging bridges. One woman said she saw a cow go across one. Now, that must have been something! A cow is clumsy. Another person said he liked to ride his bike across when he was a teenager. Still others said they were always afraid of those bridges and didn’t dare try and cross one.

Until next time, dress for the weather and stay healthy. We have had a wintry mix this weekend and then today, it got up to 75 degrees and was nice except for the March wind blowing. It was roaring up in the hilltops and would dip down in the valley now and then. Hopefully, it dried up some mud from all the rain.

God bless and keep you in His care!

--> Wednesday, March 13, 2019
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