Letters to the Editor week of 08-28-08


Bridge concern

 To the Editor:

The Switzerland County Historical Society expressed concern for the fate of the historic Whipple Iron Truss Bridge at Markland in a previous letter to the editor, requesting time for options to be studied.

Many people in the community have contributed constructive insights and ideas, including a wonderful offer from Joe Deck to donate his professional expertise and time to save the bridge.

As a way to accomplish the mission of our historical society to preserve, protect, and promote the history of Switzerland County, we are willing to help set in motion Mr. Deck’s offer.

We welcome any and all suggestions from the community on how to proceed in saving a part of Switzerland County’s heritage.

Caren Griffith

Representing the Switzerland County Historical Society

Board of Directors

The other side

To the Editor:

Last week, Bear Bladen, whom we all know, like and respect, pulled up in his odd green car off to the side of the road where I was mowing hay with my old 1948 Oliver 77 and rope trip action New Idea sickle bar mower way up on Popcorn Ridge. After the prerequisite salutations such as, “Creek Walker Leatherhorse, shut ‘er off a minute.” I had to, if I was going to talk to him, as you know Bear can hardly hear at all. “I want you to write a letter to the editor of the Vevay Reveille about the double wipple bridge at Markland Dam,” Bear hollered.

“Well, Bear,” I said, “I’m on the other side of the issue. I looked at it and from my life of living in a junk yard, I think it should be junked.” I went on to say, “I looked under it and the iron is all rusted through.”

“My idea is that the commissioners should commission two or three local artist, I mean artists such as myself and two others who I could suggest, that have lived here all their lives, to paint it as it was back in the ’50s and ’60s.

Bear looked at me quizzically without acknowledging my idea, then said, “I wrote a letter to the editor last week but it was rejected because it was too inflammatory.” I answered, “Ha, ha, when’s the last time anyone around here rioted in the street about anything?”

Anyway, after other Socratic discussions on other subjects, near and wide, Bear went on down Popcorn Ridge. I went back to mowing and thinking how the shadows from the old bridge are somehow blue. That is, if the sky be azure.

Joe Leatherbury

Popcorn Ridge

Use the bridge

To the Editor:

Kudos to Joe Deck for his magnanimous offer to do the labor on the “Whipple Truss” bridge at Markland, “free gratis.” (I especially liked the way you roped C.B. into the mix, Joe).

There are, however, a couple of points in Joe’s letter that I am in disagreement with.

I believe the county should go ahead and pay the McAlisters their money and avoid any court action that may arise out of this contract that our commissioners entered into with the McAlisters. I assume the county attorney approved the contract so perhaps the liability lies with him. At any rate, someone clearly didn’t do their homework.

I also believe that the county should retain ownership of the bridge and all current easements A/O rights of way and go ahead and do the “landscaping” around the bridge in such a way as to highlight this majestic old structure and invite people to come and use it.

I still firmly believe that “landscaping” and not liability was the driving force behind this debacle in the first place.

If returning the bridge to a utilitarian state is going to increase the county’s liability insurance costs perhaps someone with “deep pockets” like Belterra, for example, would be willing to make up the difference. They have consistently proven themselves to be very responsible and responsive “corporate citizens.”

Again, I invite people who have an opinion on this matter to call your commissioner and make your voice be heard.

Steve Bladen

Tapps Ridge