Magical bridge a season tradition
In a recent column, I thanked the crew who brightened our bridge with swags of evergreen, punctuated at each end with wreaths, all aglow with sparkling lights. I named that crew while far from home, celebrating Thanksgiving with a passel of relatives almost a week before the bridge was decorated. Post TG, passing by the bridge the evening of decorating, I saw a slightly different crew than I’d named. This column redresses that error. But first a word about the tradition.
The decorated Arnold Drive Bridge in the center of Glen Ellen guides me out of town and back home again with great pleasure. Given where I live, the departing direction south provides a peaceful view of the greenery. The return direction north shines a spotlight on the comical characters atop the Jack London Saloon and continues with the sparkling starry lights of the bridge. Both directions make me happy. It’s one of my winter delights, a simple gift that makes me glad I live in this town. But simple? That’s not entirely true. Yes, the effect is simple. Not so the task of creating that magic.
A decade of elfin effort
Mary Guerrazzi and her various family members and friends have been at this task for a very long time. When Mary and her crew first started bridge decorating, all their daughters were quite young. That’s not so any more. Shortly those first bridge-decorating kids will head off to college and then into the greater world. What lovely memories they’ll carry with them; what important lessons in community volunteering.
This year, 2013, marks a full decade that these elves have transformed the night for everyone. Some years they have rescheduled because of rain, other years they have persisted despite freezing temperatures numbing their hard-working fingers. And always, there have been the complications of calendars, schedules and Thanksgiving weekend, a busy time for everyone. This year, appreciation for our beautifully decorated bridge is due to Mary, along with her able assistants, daughters Siena and Gemma. Phil Eagles and his youngest daughter Isabel were there all afternoon, too, as was Sofia Falls.
Elaine Neally, from the Jack London Saloon, supplies the electricity to keep the lights burning through the night.
We doubly applaud all of these folks, for their efforts, and for continuing this community gift for a full decade. Mary and her helpers quietly go about adding goodness, light and beauty to our lives, never expecting recognition.
From the start, Mary has been modest about her efforts. Initially she told me the work was done by elves, no names in the news, please. I encouraged her to be recognized by name in this column. Mary finally agreed. She doesn’t brag, she just goes about doing the hard work that is a joy to all.
I’ve yet to witness the “animals all on their knees,” as described in Thomas Hardy’s 1915 poem “The Oxen.” Yet, it is possible to capture that feeling at our little historical church, a holy building that was thriving, and already well-established when Hardy penned those lines.