Verbal watercolors

Stephen Dean, Untitled (Help Wanted Half Page), 1994. Watercolor on newsprint

Stephen Dean, Untitled (Help Wanted Half Page), 1994. Watercolor on newsprint

The longstanding concrete overpass shadowing the valley appeared in many places to be nothing more than a bird nest on steroids, slathered in the droppings of transient aviary. A weathered spectacle of flowering ivy covered three steadfast support piers in thick green vines of kudzu and the concrete decking they supported leaked like a sieve. To many seasons of freezing and thawing combined with an assortment of highway department minions with jackhammers over the years had left the roadway pocked, scarred and unattached on both sides to land except for a small makeshift scaffold thrown up by trespassers still wanting access to the bridge. Thieves had carted off both of the flashing lighted signs that signaled no trespass long ago, and the now the only thing impeding vehicular access were two concrete barriers on either side spray painted in graffiti. To the random assortment of amateur watercolor painters aligning the creek below completing their assignment of painting the old bridge in watercolors however, the bridge was anything but a dead eyesore. Charged with fresh canvases and clean brushes the aspiring Monet’s, Picasso’s and Prendergast’s were hurriedly mixing colors of green for the vegetation, gray for the bridge and heavy brown for the woods on either side. Thus the bridge slowly over the next few hours of daylight was born anew again. Tom Snyder from the class reminisced that he was just a small child when the bridge was built. Another of the class pointed out that before the interstate bridge was erected this bridge was the sole way in and out of town. “ If it could only talk, I bet it would have a story or two to tell of its own, “ said Lilly Powers gently stroking out the underlying decking high in the sky above her.



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