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37/365 – Tacoma Narrows
© 2011 Timmy Tamisiea. All rights reserved. Tacoma Bridge

37/365 – Tacoma Narrows

Today is the anniversary of the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows bridge in Washington!  Check it out:

It reminds me of my lovely lady, Megan.  You know, how she wobbles around and  whenever a strong gust passes by.

I’m the Tacoma Narrows Bridge! I’m the Tacoma Narrows Bridge! Drive all over me! Drive all over me!

Nah.  I read that this was the anniversary of the collapse and I had one of this weird connect-the-dots connections.  A six-degrees of Kevin Bacon connection if you will.  You know, one where one thought leads you to another till you make that weird conclusive connection.  To a casual listener, it would make no sense.   Like someone looking at the last scene in The Blait Witch Project and exclaiming, “Oh, Man!  That reminds me of my 7th grade Christmas pageant.”

Oh man, that reminds me of of The Zodiac Killer.

Here’s the connection.

1st Degree

1940.  Tacoma Narrows bridge collapse.  Yes, this marvel reminds me of so much; the magic of flawed structural engineering; the metaphor that on the road of life, there are shaky bridges we must cross; my freshman high school science class . . . .

2nd Degree

Yeah, yeah, that’s all good and well, but where are the BRIDGES!

Physical science class.  1992.  we’re given a huge assignment.  The class is broken into groups of three.  We are to pick an approved science topic and make a 5 minute video deconstructing the science behind it.  It’s a huge grade and the best video gets 25 extra credit points.  I’m paired with Dave and Jamie – I can’t, for the life of me, remember their last names.  Jamie was adamant – our topic would be bridges.  BRIDGES!  While some kids are making videos on inertia and thermal dynamics . . . we do bridges.

According to this bridge science chart, pictures of women go down when thrown off a bridge.

So, we spend a whole Saturday making the video at my mom’s house.  We devise characters.  We create sets.  We have special effects using a toothpick bridge and a match box car.  We tell the story of a family who is the victim of bad bridge technology.  Laying in the ruins of a collapsed bridge (laying under the 2x4s spread out in the lot next door where a new house was being built) we are approached by a suave man who touts the amazing Institute of Bridge Technology.  It was then that we were introduced to Dr. Farfignugen and his trusty assistant, Igor – played by the same puppet in this video:

Yeah, that’s my brother Pat.  But I digress . . .

This was a monumental video – probably my first narrative film.  It was edited in camera and which made it all the more cool.  One of the topics Igor talked about was the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse.  Too bad we didn’t have YouTube back then.  But we made our point with line drawing done on Coral Draw . . . The thing is, for awhile, I would show that video to people.  Espcially as I got older.  If I can get my hands on it, I’ll transfer it to digital and paste a link.  But showing people that home made video was like . . .


3rd Degree

This video will explain so much to this kid’s future wife . . . so much.

2005.  Back when Megan was nothing more than a girl I was super attracted to, I decided to invite her over to my studio apartment to watch a movie.  I was so suave, with my acoustic guitar placed strategically by my bookshelf full of intellectual books.  Even though I hadn’t played that guitar since freshman year of college.   Or half of those books were unread.  But, still, I was a lady killer.

Come in Megan. Have a seat? Computer, sexy music please . . .

Even though I had a movie all picked out – can’t remember what not was, my mind was on a kiss, not a movie – she brought her own VHS tape.  Yes.  A VHS tape – she was OOOOOLLLLD SCHOOOOOOL.  She may as well have arrived in parachute pants and a mini boom box with double cassettes playing Salt ”N Pepper.

Come in Megan. Have a seat. LL Cool J, sexy music please . . .

Of course, I owned a duel DVD/VHS player (still do, biznatches!) so I was totally prepared.  So, I pulled up my green futon (which I gave away to our friend Matt Spitsen last week – I owned that thing since 1998!) and sat down for what Megan called a “surprise.”

A dark image of a stage buzzes on the screen.  A gaggle of 12-year-olds are prancing in front of a quaint backdrop.  I was confused.  What were we watching.  “Guess who that is?”  I didn’t know.  I mean, I could guess, but the screen was blurry and the camera was a little further from the action to make a solid guess.  “You?” I replied.  It was.  It was a 12-year old Megan in a school play.

I kept thinking, “Why are we watching this?”  I could tell Megan was thinking the same thing, “Why are we watching this?”  I asked her last week why she decided to open herself up so completely on one of our first dates and she said, “I thought it was funnier than it actually was. I thought it would be entertaining.”  After 5 minutes, she turned it off.  While we were both a little embarrassed, it was a sweet and brave gesture and I admired her for it.

May our love destroy this bridge.

So let’s celebrate the Collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge by kissing your wife/girlfriend/boyfriends/dozens of cats/plants and watching some home videos!

One Comment

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