In honor of the book release of The Kissing Bridge by Tricia Goyer, Tracy and Kortnee and I will all be posting on the same topic: bridges. We thought it would be fun to see the differences in our perspectives when writing about the same word. We will feature this topic on May 1, May 6, and May 8. Stay with us and comment we love comments!! And if you like Amish fiction, check out Tricia’s book. Here is a chance to read the first chapter for free! And you would probably like Tricia’s blog too: triciagoyer.com
For now, enjoy my post. It is free too!
There is a bridge in New Orleans, the Mississippi River Bridge. It would be more accurate to say it is THE bridge in New Orleans. This bridge spans the Mighty Mississippi, connecting the Westbank to the Eastbank (downtown New Orleans). It has been called the GNO (Greater New Orleans) and the CCC (Crescent City Connection). And even though we have another bridge with a colorful history, The Huey P. Long, whenever anyone from New Orleans talks about the Mississippi River Bridge, we just call it The Bridge.
- “Momma, I just wanted to call and let you know that we are on The Bridge. We’ll be there soon!”
- “I couldn’t believe they had traffic down to one lane on The Bridge they need to find another way to repaint that thing!”
- “The Convention Center is just right there, at the foot of The Bridge.”
- “I’ll never forget the time I got a flat tire on The Bridge. I was on my way to school and someone pushed me off and left me on Tchoupitoulas!”
My junior and senior years in high school, I drove from the Westbank, across The Bridge, to Benjamin Franklin High School. Now this is when Ben Franklin was on Carrollton Avenue and had no air conditioning (which is the Deep South equivalent to saying you “walked uphill, both ways, in snow”). At the time, we had to sit through “Bridge controls” where the Bridge Authority would station traffic cops to alternate the traffic flow from one up-ramp to another.
Bridge controls meant you would jump out of bed, get ready as fast as humanly possible, throw your books in the car, grab a breakfast to eat on the run, and speed over to get into a huge line of parked cars. And you would sit and wait. And play music. It was either radio (Scoot in the Morning) or a mix tape with the Cure and the Soundtrack to The Breakfast Club. And you’d look around to see who else was in line by you. And put on some make up. And finish your homework. Then miraculously, the cars would move and you could advance, ever so slowly, toward The Bridge. Sometimes you only had to wait through one turn before you got to go. Other times…someone got a flat tire on the bridge and had to be pushed off at the Tchoupitlous Street exit. That might make you late for your first class.
Soon we will be flying home to New Orleans. We will arrive at the airport and take our rental car to a lovely condo downtown (on the Eastbank). A good friend invited us to stay there and play tourists with the kids this time. We feel blessed beyond belief!
Still, we will know we are close when we see the Superdome and just ahead, The Bridge. And I am sure I will call my Momma, on the Westbank, just to tell her that we are almost at The Bridge. We will cross The Bridge the day after we arrive, and almost every day for the next week, so we can visit with our family. We are really looking forward to this time. We are also celebrating my husband’s Air Force promotion to Lt Colonel. Again, we feel so blessed to be able to share this special time with our family and friends.
And our kids can’t wait to go across The Bridge, they love it. They have never lived in the city where I married their dad. Never been there during Mardi Gras. Never been to a Saints game. She will crane her neck to look over the edge and he will hold his breath and close his eyes, they always do. But they both will know we’re almost home, when we get to The Bridge.