Monthly Archives: March 2012

Blue Bridge Blues

Demolition of Victoria’s Blue Bridge has begun and I’ve been avoiding the harbour as if it has come down with a deadly case of the plaque. One day, a while back, I knew something was seriously wrong with me when I found myself ignoring the boys, the tugs, and any other industrial activity down on the waterfront. Then it dawned on me wide and clear – I’ve got a serious case of the Blue Bridge Blues.

Friends started asking me questions. “Why aren’t you down by the bridge sketching?”  “Why aren’t you painting or drawing, it’s history in the making” they were all yapping at me.  “I can’t.  I’ve tried.  I can’t.” I shake my head at them.  It’s just to damn hard. Gives me weepy eyes to watch the destruction of our beautiful Blue bridge.

The Johnston Street Bridge (or “Big Blue” or “Blue Bridge”) is iconic to Victoria’s inner harbour and downtown.   It’s a striking heritage landmark.   You can see it from just about every angle around the waterfront and up city streets.  You can hear the creaks and groans as it draws upward to the sky to let marine traffic pass underneath it.  Kids point fingers and people smile at the site of the character and charm of the bridge.   To lose it all because of past neglect and lack of insight for the future is difficult for my brain to comprehend.

Being dramatic is part of the package of who I am.  So I won’t make any excuses for displaying symptoms of melancholy over the taking down of Big Blue.  Being in close touch with my senses is part of the parcel of being an artist.

I don’t know how anyone can not feel droopy eyed over the loss of this unique site.

So that’s why I was so astonished the other day when, out of the blue, I found myself hunkered down by the bridge, sketching.  My backside was planted on a chilly cement step staring at a big clawed machine ripping at the last bits of the rail bridge.  I hadn’t been any where near the destruction even ignoring a visit from the largest barge and crane on this coast.

On my way back home I skirted by the torn out rail bridge lying dead on the ground over here at Point Hope.  It was barged here to be dismantled by the fellows in the colourful hardhats.  It’s a tragic sight for sore eyes seeing it sprawled out all alone just like I will be when I leave this earth.  Like they say we come in alone and we go out alone.

Give me a moment to wipe my nose.  Ok, that’s better.   Just think if I can get this worked up over the loss of the rail section of the bridge I hate to see what’s going to happen when the whole she-bang comes down. I guess I’ll have to dot those eyes and cross those tees when the time comes.  For now I’ll just hang tight and see how this case of the Blue bridge Blues unfolds.



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