Of winter ice and covered bridges

In my previous post about my dating life, I wrote about how I saw my girlfriend only a few times during most of 1995 because I was working in Florida. One of the days we did get to spend together was at my fraternity formal in 1995. Rick and I had flown up from Florida for the weekend. My car was still in Atlanta, so I drove him and his date to the dance also.

Rick’s date was a girl named Bonnie Lee that I had never met before. He gave me the directions to her house and so he, my girlfriend and I set out west of Atlanta to pick her up. The freeways soon became busy four-laned thoroughfares and eventually two lane winding roads through the winter night. As we wandered through country roads, we soon reached a one-lane covered bridge! “How far out of town does this girl live?” I asked Rick. We slowly crossed the wooden bridge and continued on our way to her house.

What I remember most about Bonnie Lee is the dress she wore. She had made the dress herself and it was beautiful. I couldn’t help but wonder to myself how much that kind of dress would cost if she had bought it one of the expensive mall stores or the like. What an amazing talent to possess. I remember that late in the night it rained and it was so cold that the water froze on my car, effectively sealing it such that I had to chip away at the ice just to get my key in the door. I remember driving carefully home again, back out to the far-reaching country away from the city, gingerly crossing that covered bridge again watchful for ice to drop her off at home.

The humorous part of all this is that the “far off” country covered bridge is now no less than 10 miles from my home (and closer to Atlanta than my house, to boot.) I often go running in an area very near the bridge and when traffic is heavy on East-West Connector I will use the bridge as an alternate route to go home.

Every time I cross the bridge, I think of that night, the fun I had, and Bonnie Lee and her homemade dress. I wonder whatever happened to her.

Postscript: I did a google search on Concord Covered Bridge and found that the Georgia DOT has its own site for the bridge. There is also a webpage dedicated to the covered bridge that my grandfather rebuilt! (A plaque with his name can be seen here.) There really is a web page for everything these days.