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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Memorial Bridge and other recollections from the past . . .

I was not around when the Healdsburg Memorial Bridge was new some 90 years ago -- but I do drive over it almost every week. It serves as the south eastern entry to the city, the route we take when we are not in a hurry and just want to enjoy the scenery. The last few years there has been much discussion over saving the bridge or replacing it with a new structure -- there were arguments for both. The decision has been made to keep the bridge and bring it up to safety standards. I took this picture this week and when I arrived home I saw the local newspaper article stating that the bridge has been included on the National Registry of Historic Sites:

When I snapped the photo there was a complete family of ducks heading downstream -- the weather this week has been really spring/summer like and the water was moving just fast enough to keep the family together. I wonder where that family will wind up . . .

I wonder too where the families in the tree will wind up. The HILES family like many families in this country started on the East Coast and have migrated across the land. There are several of my branch here in the environs of Northern California -- we each took different paths to get here.

I am not sure why -- but for some reason many examples of  "memories from my youth" have been triggered lately -- I think Springtime generates those kinds of things. My Grandfather Dayton Bumgardner, whom I have talked about many times in these posts, owned and operated the Farnum Dental Laboratory in Chicago. As a treat we as kids would get to visit him there occasionally. One thing I always have remembered is that he had a sweet tooth, and in the top drawer of his desk he would open it and there would be a few of his favorite candy bars -- one of which became a favorite of mine and one that I guess is not being produced anymore or I would have found it by now -- I have even checked with Powell's without success:

I can still "taste" the marshmellowy texture and the peanuts covered in chocolate and remember my Grandfather enjoying sharing those candy bars.

Thinking back to my other Grandfather -- Lloyd Hampton Hiles Sr., while I don't remember any candy -- I do remember something just as "sweet" in my memory. For awhile he lived across the street from Wrigley Field in Chicago and once while staying there with them -- they took me to a performance of a favorite TV personality of mine -- The Cisco Kid -- Duncan Renaldo and of course Pancho his sidekick. They were performing in a rodeo held at Wrigley -- it must have been in the early 1950s -- and I sure do remember the great fun of that day:

As long as I am remembering events and gifts,  the first movie that I can recall seeing was one that I was taken to by my Uncle Stewart -- the movie -- Fort Apache with John Wayne -- I believe that it was in 3D too!

And lastly -- a favorite holiday gift that I still recall -- a Gilbert Chemistry Set received also from Uncle Stew:

So-- there you have it -- the 90 year old bridge launched me into a fond look back . . . go figure.

And now a look forward -- Slider Saturday Night! 

Be back with you in a few . . .

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