Two Sides to the Bridge of Hate and Kindness

There are a number of ways to explain my position, but I decided to try the bridge at Pass Manchac approach.  For those not familiar with the area, the “new” bridge over Lake Maurepas is part of Interstate 55 while the “old” bridge running alongside is part of Highway 51.  From the time I learned to walk through early adulthood, I spent many hours in various boats next to the pilings of the old bridge fishing for catfish.  Depending of time of year, put some crab nets attached to painted bleach bottles out in the lake while you fished and whether you launched at North Pass or somewhere on the Blood or Tickfaw Rivers, by the time you came back to the dock some good eating was only a short drive away.  Of course at the bridge, you could always pull your boat up near the railroad bridge, tie off, and run into Middendorfs for some fried catfish and hushpuppies to eat out on the water.

string of catfish

One of the many strings we caught next to that old bridge

Pass Manchac bridges

I took this photo probably back in 2006. To the left is the railroad bridge with the drawbridge up. To the right is the old Hwy. 51 bridge and to the left is the I 55 bridge

Needless to say I have a lot of fond memories of this area and going through the pass into Lake Pontchartrain.  Whether kid or adult, using a light action rod and small spinning reel with about 8lbs test line and hooking a croaker has that same excitement and fight of hooking and landing a tarpon.  Well, I’ve only landed one tarpon at the Grand Isle Rodeo, and it wasn’t large enough to even place.  I did place, however, in both speckled trout and redfish that year.

Background and memories aside, one year a tugboat moving a barge struck the pilings on the old bridge resulting in the highest span collapsing into the water.  When crossing over this bridge would it matter that much if you went over the left or the right side while at the top?  Either way, you will be in the water and on a bridge this high you will be hurt and possibly killed.

Many people seem fixated on trying to make the recent acts of terrorism about right wing or left wing politics.  Like I wrote yesterday, in the United States of America does it really matter?  Individuals whether they are or are not part of any group, committed these acts of violence which hurt many people.  If you were injured or know someone who was does political ideology heal that injury or bring the deceased back to life?  What these individuals perpetrated on others was despicable and heartrending.

Instead of trying to capitalize on the suffering of others to advance a political agenda in this republic and pointing fingers of blame at groups or others why don’t we try something different?  Instead of allowing such callous acts to divide us even more, why don’t the law-abiding people in this country focus on our similarities and instead of differences?  If we continue to hate and blame each other, haven’t the terrorists and the criminals won without doing anything?  A rock tossed into a lake causes ripples, so instead of allowing individuals who perpetrate acts of hate and terror to continue and escalate by our own fighting amongst ourselves why can’t we try pushing some positive thoughts and cooperation into that same lake?  If I do one act of kindness for no personal gain, think about what might happen if that person does the same for another, and that person for another.  Idealistic, perhaps, but if hate and terror can spread, why can’t kindness and cooperation spread in the same manner?

Photo credit for the map image below is from the website for Turtle Cove at Southeastern Louisiana University.  It is used in this piece only for purposes as a road map illustration for the area.

Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain

Map copied from the Turtle Cove page at Southeastern Louisiana University.