The Way We Were

The following article first appeared in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the June 10, 2009 issue. Reprinted with permission.

Over the 'little red bridge' by horse and wagon

by Ward L. Mclinton

As a youngster, my grandfather, Arthur McLinton, and I traveled the very famous little red covered bridge in Wakefield (the original one) on several occasions. We traveled via horse and rubber-wheeled wagon, not car (though he had one), back and forth from our lOO-acre farm into the village for our bimonthly treats. (It was a horrific tragedy when the bridge was set on-fire and burned -those b...tards!)

The Way We Were
FLIP FORWARD IN TIME. Felix Anderson, 17, of Wake-field spirals through the air alter soaring off the rebuilt covered bridge June. 7. His friends Jessica Metuzals of Chelsea and Aliza Sandino-Gold also took the frigid plunge, but they didn't pull any backflips like Anderson did. Trevor Greenway photo.

Arthur had his agenda and I had mine. His was to replenish his "plugs of tobacco" and to be caught up on the most recent rumours/events; and mine was to have a bottle of coke and a large slice of cheese (with a side order of a cracker or two).

We didn't waste much time on our trips as we had chores to do back home. Infrequently, sadly, we would bring a surprise back to my grandmom; she was such a great lady and deserved much more. I loved her so very much.

On our return, we would often stop halfway on the bridge to marvel at the beauty of our position: the speed of the current below; the strong structure of the bridge; the engineering of the whole structure; the safety of our presence. (Those b...tards!)

I have, in my garage, a hand painting of that bridge. I have kept the Ottawa Citizen report of the burning of that bridge.

The Wakefield red bridge was a landmark and will never be forgotten.

It has since been replaced by another 21st century crossing (you can't burn this one) but let us to always remember and never forget what once was.

The very popular and famous movie "The Bridges of Madison County" staring Clint Eastwood could have as easily been filmed in Wakefield showing our red bridge.

The way things were.

Ward L. McLinton now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.

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