Tuesday, August 28, 2007

August 2, 2007 - San Diego, CA...

A troubled bridge over water...

To get to Grandma Jane and Grandp Hutch's house, we had to drive over the tall bridge that connects the banks of Woodbury to the shores of South St. Paul. Throughout childhood, I had a terrible fear that our car would somehow be flung over the side of the bridge, always causing me to clutch doll Suzie close to my chest as I'd stare hard straight ahead or seal my eyelids shut until terra firma on the other side.

Yesterday, this seemingly irrational fear played itself out only miles away from the origin of this nightmare. A piece of the I-35 thoroughfare that I and every other Twin City commuter had crossed a thousand times mysteriously crumbled.

Reminiscent to other tragic days, phone lines in the minutes and hours after the crumble were jam-packed as loved ones tried to connect and make sure all was okay.

Within a half hour of learning about all this, I discovered that all Hutchinsons but one were accounted for. A slightly unnerving two hours (and dozens of messages) later, I learned that my brother was safe and sound in a meeting, unaware of the collapse. He had driven over that bridge only an hour before its demise.

I sat and stared at the pictures on the screen last night. You would think that a post-911 mind would be more immune to it. But I just couldn't get over how this familiar stretch of town was just simply destroyed. It doesn't seem possible, and you there it was.

My heart goes out to the family and friends of those lost, to the rescue workers and those in the medical fields who are tending to the injured, and to the folks back home who are shocked, saddened and maybe now fearful of what was once assumed safe.

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