Above, the sky was a perfect, still blue. Below, the brown water churned endlessly.
Suspended several hundred feet in the air, with a live acetylene torch in his hand, these are the sort of things that Clarence can be forgiven for failing to appreciate. He was more focused on getting his welds just right, and ignoring the incessant babbling of his invidious crew mate, Philip.
“Wonder if those boys workin’ on the Arkansas side of this thing are nice.”
Clarence dismissed the statement at first, but it started echoing around his head. He flipped his mask back and looked over.
“Do what now?” Clarence asked.
“We’re buildin’ the bridge toward each other. Them toward us, us toward them. Like the railroads did.”
“So, at some point we’ll meet up, and I wonder if they’re nice.”
Clarence’s response was a blank stare, then, “I’m sure I have no idea, Philip.”
With that, he slapped his mask down and went back to work, but not before Philip got one more thought out.
“When we’re done, they say this’ll be the biggest letter in the world.”
And Clarence knew it was only a matter of time until he stupidly asked Philip about that, too.
Upon its completion in 1972, the Hernando de Soto bridge was confirmed as the largest free-standing letter in the world. It boggles my mind to think about how much that bridge changed the nature of downtown and West Memphis. There was nothing along that run in Arkansas until the bridge was there.