The Bridge Over I-35W At Heritage

This is from “Notes To Stephanie; Days Remembered”. A Note on a highway bridge view that reminds you of life and its passage.

As you might remember, I like places with a
large and expansive view of the country side.
Most of the time, I found these places on a farm
road out in the country—but not always—
sometimes they were found close to home. One
such place was the bridge over I-35W on
Heritage Trace near the hill at Heritage we
sometimes visited.

When you went across that bridge going west,
you were on top of a hill overlooking the
rolling landscape that curved up and down to
the south. You could not see east or west due to
the topography, but you could see a large field
of view looking southward. Most of the central
part of Tarrant County was in view, along with
part of southwestern Dallas County as well.

We would drive across the bridge, and you
could see the spires of downtown on the
horizon, the huge grain elevators at Saginaw,
and other landmarks that defined what Tarrant
County physically was. We were both almost
breathless at this site—few places nearby
afforded such a vista that spanned so much
physical space and showed so much of our local
geography.

Seeing the shape of the Earth and man’s coating
of houses, buildings, and signs made you
appreciate how big a city can be and the variety
of objects that fill its borders. More than once,
we both pointed to something on the horizon or
gestured to some place closer, and we remarked
about what was around that point. We were like
explorers looking at a map for important places;
but in this case, the map was not made of paper.
It was made of the reality in front of our eyes.
Regardless of the allegory, it was a very
personal thing to do since we were viewing
places that had been part of our lives for many
years.

In a way, this place was a scrapbook of sorts.
Each thing we could see had a story to tell.
Each building, field, or highway we saw from
there recounted something about us, like a
Kodak picture would do.

And as life changes, so does the view. New
houses are built, a new skyscraper is launched
towards heaven, or something simpler like a
new billboard or gas station appears. The view
always changes, as does a scrapbook when new
pictures are added to its pages. Thus these
vistas, like a set of pictures, can tell us whom
we are and where we have been.

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