Friday, March 20, 2015

The Drawbridge

Here’s the story as it was told to me.

The drawbridge was constructed to connect the two land masses that make up Culebra, joining the north and the south of road 250 as it passes through town. It’s a short span, sixty feet or so, and unique in that, rather than tilting the roadway or pivoting it to parallel the canal, it uses four massive counterweights to lift the entire span straight into the air like some asphalt flying carpet. It’s ingenious, or so it would seem.

It was inaugurated (year unknown to the storyteller) with great fanfare, the island’s population gathering to witness the marvel, and during the ceremonies was raised for the first time to great jubilation - cheers all around for the floating roadway - until it refused to return from its lofty perch.

It remained suspended for months after “the opening” (which no doubt ruined a good party - or, just as likely, extended it) before the engineers were able to unstick the mechanisms and lower the span; never to raise it again. It remains a drawbridge in name alone, having opened but the once. Not much has been said about it since.

True? I don’t know. But it makes a fine tale so my efforts to confirm the report have been lax and half-hearted. And I honestly don’t recall who gave me the lowdown. The recollection’s as muddled as a mojito mint leaf. But I will testify, hand to heart, that during our ten days on the island we never saw it raised nor witnessed any activity or indication that such expectations existed, though we crossed it many times.

So if, by chance, you are able to verify this history, or debunk it, please keep it to yourself. I’m quite happy with this nebulous knowledge. If it’s not true then it should be and the slippery credibility in narrative suits me just fine. After all, facts are overrated, don’t you think?

But a really good story isn’t.


Kirk Mantay said...

It's a fantastic story. Thanks for sharing it. That photo evokes my memories of the Caribbean and Centro long memories, as "operation: pay for a kid" is 6 years underway.

I demand more stories and pictures.

Mike Sepelak said...

I'll try my best, Kirk!