Bridge On The River Hershel
It was at least 100 degrees in the shade on that August morning and my Dad was in his element. He had about 15 men standing around him in the backyard of the camp ready to work and he is not a man to let opportunities like that pass him by. We headed up toward the lake and stopped at the wooden bridge where he divided us into teams to work. He sent Trent and a few others to bush-hog and clear roads in one area, another group to do the same across the BeaverDam and the rest he said would repair the bridge. He reached in the back of his truck and pulled out 2 picks, 2 shovels, and a sledge hammer. I thought I was a dead man. The object was to remove the layer of packed gravel from the top of the bridge, remove the cross-ties, replace them and put the gravel back on. Greg Jones swung the pickax and struck the ground. Sparks came up and he did not even leave a dent. The ground was harder than concrete. Dad said "Get to work, I'll be back at Noon" . He turned to me and said " I need you to go get the seed and start taking it up so we can plant this afternoon. I felt like I had just escaped the Hangman's Noose, jumped on a 4-wheeler and disappeared. A little after Noon we showed up at the bridge, Jones and the rest of the group were covered in sweat and so tired they could hardly move. We went to camp for lunch and Jones feel asleep on the couch and would not wake up when we headed back out. I thought he was dead and the rest of the group was walking wounded. After lunch we all staggered back to the worksite and the whistling song from the Bridge on the River Kwai became our marching song. It took a couple more weekends and I did have to swing the pick but that day was the hottest most miserable work detail I have ever seen at the famous Christmas Place and is still used to threaten the kids with when they get out of line. Dad just informed me that all these years later, the bridge is now needing repair. OMG!