One of the things I find endearing about Fairbanks is its quirkiness.  I’ve told you before I see a lot of it from my vantage point on Cushman Street.  Last week we celebrated the opening of the Veterans Memorial Bridge, variously called the Barnette Street Bridge and the Bridge to Nowhere, although now, obviously it does go somewhere, connecting the north side of the river with the south side, or the south side with the north side, depending on how you look at it.  No need to point out that the Cushman Street bridge is only a block away, and it does the same thing.

Let’s see, how many bridges do we now have spanning the mighty Chena? 1,2,3,4,5…we’re getting right up there.  If we ever want to see a steamboat ply these waters again we’ll have a lot of deconstructing to do, won’t we?  The number of bridges is amazing for a town this size.  Interesting that it seems much of Fairbanks’ retail focus is on Box Store Row despite all these bridges in proximity of the uniqueness and quirkiness of what makes our downtown truly Fairbanks, filled with galleries, shopping, eateries and green (now white) space.  But no matter.  The scheme to build this bridge was hatched more than 30 years ago.  And now it’s a  reality, like it or not, need it or not.

Curious about the bridge dedication, I made my way over on the morning of November 12 to see who would brave the weather for the occasion.  I saw several local merchants,  folks from the News Miner and Downtown Association, clergy and staff from neighboring churches, and dogs (yes, with booties), strollers, bare handed camera holders, etc.  In short, the group looked pretty much like our friends and neighbors from around town.  My heart was warmed, even in the sub-zero temperatures that day.  I came to see the ribbon broken by Charlie Creamer’s 1912 Chalmers.  I wanted to see for myself that today’s mechanics could keep the Chalmers and the other antique cars in the procession going in November weather in Fairbanks. And I wanted to see the drivers and passengers bundled up enjoying their foray across the bridge.  I sure wasn’t disappointed!  The color guard from Wainwright led the pack, followed by several cars, passengers including veterans and well as one of our own sales associates.  It was momentous.  Congratulations to everyone who arranged and participated in the dedication.  The folks at Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum deserve a special thanks for their attention to detail on these fine old cars.  I think Charlie Creamer would have been proud; I know I am!