Guardian of the Bridge

He was always amusing to talk to. I knew him as simply “Tom.” He was a Vietnam vet like me, and we shared a lot of outlooks. I first met him while I was taking photos of Spokane’s High Bridge. It’s an old school concrete bridge with arched supports and sculpted figures and stands about three hundred feet over the Latah Creek. It was a part of my daily view for over 9 years, giving me the chance to really look it over and see it in all four seasons. Tom wasn’t taking photos, but was sitting on the concrete railing atop one of the wide posts, just looking the length of the bridge. He looked in deep concentration, but as I walked by, he commented that it was a picturesque bridge and we got talking.

Before long I discovered his name and he mine, and we just hung there and chatted amiably for a half hour or so. I wanted to shoot more pictures and make my way down to the base in High Bridge Park to take some upward shots. A few days later I was on my way to the little convenience store that sits on the far side of the bridge and ran into Tom again. I had him follow me to the store where I picked up a premade sandwich and a drink, and bought the same for Tom. He was remarkably grateful for a sandwich. We went over and sat on the bridge to eat and look at the bridge, watching the traffic moving over it.