Before we named our book we held a creative jam session where we came up with a ton of names Have Highway, Need Bridges and The New Deal’s Big Deal Bridges were a couple of mine that I particularly liked but knew we wouldn’t use. And my favorite, Spanning Coastal Waters, got outvoted by Dick’s Crossings. As it turns out, Crossings was a better choice; a single word has more impact. And, by now, I can’t imagine our book with any other title. It’s perfect!
Then we went online to see if any other books out there had the same name. We found none—until the other day. Dick was actually looking for ours and typed in key words––Crossings and McCullough. He found Crossings: A History of Vermont Bridges by––get this––Robert McCullough. Dick was so amazed, he ordered a copy. It is similar in size, 10 x 8 and ours is 10 x 7, horizontal, same size font, and similar layout with many black-and-white photos. It is a fatter book with more pages and seems very thorough. We’re both anxious to read it. This McCullough is a college professor. So Dick corresponded with him and here is his reply:
Many thanks for your note and wonderful news on the book about McCullough’s bridges. I have never investigated my relationship to the “other” McCullough, but perhaps one does exist. In any case, his bridges are beautiful, and I have a few good slides of some taken during a trip to Oregon several years ago. Here’s another bit of coincidence. My father was a U.C.C. minister. Small world!
Now for some humor. And I didn’t make these up.
I’m a docent at the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum here in Florence. For a couple of weeks around the Rhododendron Festival, we had our annual display filling much of the space upstairs showing pictures and memorabilia of most of the 103 previous festivals. Since the festival’s theme this year, “Spanning the Years,” commemorated the 75th birthday of the Siuslaw River Bridge, we had a bridge display also. I was showing a woman around the museum and went upstairs with her and explained about our Rhody Festival and this year’s theme and she turned to me and said, “We crossed this very pretty bridge coming into town. Can you tell me about it?” My first response was to see who was setting me up, which jokster was hiding behind the displays. But no one was there. She was totally serious. So I simply said, “Well, just let me tell you!” and gave her my two-minute presentation. Before she left, she bought a book from those for sale at the museum.
A couple of weeks ago, I made an all day trip down the coast on Tuesday and another all day trip up the coast on Friday. In between, I took my friend, Jan, over to Eugene to buy a car. It was to be a break from selling books. At the Honda dealership, it took awhile to get everything decided and then Jan was busy filling out and signing all the paperwork. Meanwhile, the car salesmen turned to me. He gave me his card and was, no doubt, working on a future potential sale. He asked what I did. So I told him I had retired almost two years ago from being a magazine writer and editor, and then he asked what I was doing with all my free time. “Well, “ I said, “just let me tell you.” Suddenly, the tables were turned. Before I finished my two-minute presentation, he was asking if I had any books with me. “How many do you want?” I replied. Of course, he bought one.
And so can you, if you haven’t already.
Crossings Presentations by Judy in June & July:
• June 18, 1:30 p.m.––Community Center, Centennial & Beachcomber Days celebrations, plus celebration of the 20th birthday of the new Alsea Bay Bridge, Waldport
• July 16, 2 p.m.––Coos County Historical & Maritime Museum, July Jubilee and celebration of the 75th birthday of the McCullough Memorial Bridge, North Bend
Judy will also be attending two author’s fairs:
• July 22–23, noon–6 p.m. Friday & 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturday––Oregon Books & Games (corner 7th & E), Grants Pass
• August 27, noon–3 p.m.––Bob’s Beach Books (west side just north of 17th on Hwy 101), Lincoln City