Frank Accardi moved to Westport in 1993. He’s seen a lot — and spent a lot of time by (and on) the William F. Cribari Bridge. He writes:
At this time of year, out-of-town holiday guests pile into cars. We take them to the beach, Longshore, and all those other lovely places in this town we call home.
Lunching downtown, they get a view of the river. A bit of Main Street shopping is on the agenda too.
Local friends are introduced all around: kind, friendly and warm-hearted.
We drive by parks and the library, modern schools and old churches, bike paths and boat slips. Inevitably, guests fall in love with the town just as we have.
Sometimes they get a chance to literally ride through history.
We tell them: The oldest hand-cranked open span bridge in the state is after the next light.
It’s on the National Registry of Historic places.
The turn is made. The chatter quiets.
The bridge is just ahead. Just as quickly, the short span is crossed .
But it is inevitable that they see what we see every day.
The dents, the rusty disrepair and desuetude, all made sadder by the brightness of Al DiGuido’s lights and the generosity of his spirit.
Thankful that no one experienced an oncoming landscaping truck at the same time, conversation eventually picks up.
But never about the bridge.
You want to explain that there is history, engineering, boats and truck traffic patterns to consider. But you don’t.
Safely at home, someone takes you aside and says, “Maybe from now on you should go the long way around, son.”
You say, “Don’t worry. I’m sure they will figure it all out soon.”
Won’t they ?