When I was young, one of my absolute favorite things was visiting my grandparents.
My paternal grandmother, Stella Young, and my maternal grandparents, Dewey and Audrie Bennett, both lived on SE 21 Street. Lightning Creek separated them.
It was so much fun for a little girl to walk down to the foot bridge that spanned the creek. Not only could I visit my grandparents but I could cross the creek and look down and see all of what now would be just cast-off trash, but then was treasure, just out of reach.
Imagine my surprise when, looking for something else in The Oklahoman’s archive, I stumbled across a photograph of the very foot bridge I remembered from my childhood.
The story published March 8, 1944, tells the story of “my bridge.”
The original bridge across Lightning Creek had been destroyed earlier in the year by a tornado. With the war still ongoing, steel was unavailable, so the mother of invention took over.
“With steel for a modern bridge unavailable at this time, W. J. Booth, superintendent of the municipal garage, gathered up some salvage pipe from the Bluff creek project, welded them together, applied a new coat of paint and brought out a bridge.”
“Two men, working 10 days in the city garage, whipped out the structure at a total cost of $125 for a welding rod and material.”
The story goes on to say, “A total of 1,500 feet of pipe was used in constructing the 75-foot bridge. It is five feet, nine inches wide. A wooden flooring will be added.”
I remember the big wooden planks that made the floor of the bridge and provided my aunts, uncles and mother a shortcut to school.
The bridge is no longer there, probably a victim of the flood control measures to keep Lightning Creek in its banks.
The street is not the street I remember of houses and people. Most of the houses are gone now, but I can close my eyes and see that little girl holding her daddy’s hand walking across the old bridge.