bits and pieces

There is an area of Kansas City generally known as Red Bridge. It’s named after an old red bridge that crossed the Blue River back in settlement days. Subsequent replacement bridges were all painted red to honor that bit of history. The newest bridge (concrete and steel) is fitted with red granite to maintain the tradition.

What you see above is the prior red bridge. I believe I drove across the bridge at least once in my adult tenure here (and it’s not impossible that I had when I was a toddler before we moved to St. Louis, though it is unlikely that I would have been doing the driving). This bridge not only no longer takes traffic but it no longer leads anywhere either. (The area behind me when I took this photo is full of trees and rock piles and is impassible.)

But a new use has been found for the old bridge. It’s become the host of love locks. Couples affix a padlock to the bridge (or gates or fences and even monuments) as a sign of their love. Names, initials, and dates are generally inscribed on the locks, and tradition requires that the key to the lock be thrown away (generally into the river the bridge crosses) as a sign of the unbreakable love of the couple.

This is a global phenomenon, and while it is sweet and is even used in some places as a tourist attraction, it has become a problem. The weight of the combined locks has threatened the integrity of some bridges, for example, and the tossing of the key into the river can actually affect water quality and wildlife. At the bridge above there is a box in place where couples can deposit their key, which will eventually be recycled. (Often I’ve seen this box broken into, presumably for the metal.)

This bridge is about a mile from the end of the Blue River Trail, and I would pass it when I did my 26-mile rides back in the day.


I can sit at my desk during the day and hear the puttering mail truck pull up to the boxes across the street. (One of those boxes is for my address.) Then I know that I can venture out the front door with the dogs to “get the mail.” They sniff around the front yard while I cross the street and get the (mostly junk) mail from my box. This has been our routine for years. But I think it’s changing. The other day I happened to be looking out the window at the time the mail truck was filling the boxes. I hadn’t heard it drive up, and when it left, I didn’t hear it drive away. I suspect the route I am on is now going to be serviced by an electric mail truck. Thus, if I don’t happen to see it, my treks across the street will be almost random, having no auditory hint that the delivery is made. Such are my troubles in life.


I always wear red when I go to my cabin. I have a red Osceola Cheese tee shirt and a red plaid flannel shirt I generally wear. (The point is to be not mistaken for a deer by a hunter.) Yesterday, when I had gone to the cabin to sling some of the 15 tons of gravel I’d had delivered, I was dressed in red. When I came home mid-afternoon, I stopped in a convenience store and saw that everyone else was wearing red too. Apparently it was tied to some sporting event yesterday.


Here is something astonishing. For the first time in my life, I made a wager on a sporting event (last night’s big game). And here’s another astonishing thing. I won! I got involved because it was a fundraiser for a neighbor boy so he could go to a high adventure Scout camp this summer. I didn’t even understand the terms for winning, but his mother texted me saying I’d won $150.

Those of you who know me won’t be astonished to learn that I gave the winnings to the neighbor boy to use on his trip. Maybe he’ll send me a post card.

Explore posts in the same categories: Ramblings Off Topic


You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

One Comment on “bits and pieces”

  1. I am not a world traveler but the one place I have visited and walked on is the Via Dell ‘Amore in Cinque Terre Italy. I wonder if this is the original locks of love.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: