The Alexandra Bridge - Malcolm & The GhostMonday, June 02, 2008
On our way back from Lillooet I took a barely noticeable side road after passing Boston Bar. Rosemary, Rebecca and Lauren looked at me strangely. "I have a surprise," I told them. I drove through a dense forest path and parked at the end. I noticed the patches of asphalt but did not reveal their origin to the girls. We crossed train tracks after we waited for the long train to pass. Then as we approached a clearing I told them, "Here is the surprise. See what is at the end of this path." The old Alexandra Bridge, the second one, according to friend Michael Kluckner ( who, alas, is now living in Australia whith his wife Christine Allen), appeared suddenly like a ghost in the blue light of the low cloud which was almost fog.
Some 10 years ago in circumstances that I do not fully recall, Malcolm Parry passed by the house one day and told me we were going on a ride. It was he who surprised me with the ghost at the end of the trail. I called him yesterday for details and all he could tell me was, "I took you there because that bridge has been very important in the history of our province." The patches there of asphalt are what remains of the old Highway 1 Transcanada Highway.
Some people might think that Malcolm Parry is a bit standoffish even when he is at his most charming. Few really know the man well. Yet I think I had the privilege of getting a few glimpses of the inner man in the close to 37 years that I have known him. And that day on the Alexandra Bridge was one of them.
Christine Allen decamps for Australia