• author
    • Donald Sanders

    • February 1, 2018 in Columnists

    Building bridges

    I think I could have done better. I’m pushin’ seventy years old now and I’m a little concerned that I didn’t do as much as I could have for our society. Ya know, nothin’ happens in this world without a little effort from somebody — sometimes it takes a lot of effort. I’ll never know for sure because I was always too concerned with my own welfare to do anything for anyone else.

    To tell the truth, I’ve been so self-centered that it never even dawned on me that I should be concerned about the welfare of my fellow man. Oh, but I was always the first one to criticize the other guy for what he was doin’ and how he was doin’ it. When I think back on it, I don’t think I was ever happy with the performance of any politician, ever. I always had plenty of ideas about this and that and was quick to voice my opinion about what was wrong in the good old U.S. Government. Real quick!

    For example, remember that Linda Ronstadt guy who was governor of California? I told all my friends what a super nut case this guy was because he was building freeway bridges to nowhere. At that time I was workin’ as a union pile driver out of Local 34 building bridges and high-rise foundations all around the Bay Area, mostly in San Francisco. So I’m thinkin’, “What the hell is this guy doin’?”

    Remember drivin’ around and seein’ a bridge that just stopped in mid-air? If a car ever drove on it, they would fly right off the end, crash, boom bang! I’d look at them and think, “If I was in charge, I would build the other side and put a road on it.” I thought he was probably spending too much time with Linda’s band and smoking too much pot because it drove the price up to $30 a lid. You know, supply and demand, right?

    Well as it turned out, years later when all these new freeways are being built at ten times the cost they used to be, guess what? All the bridges are already built at ten times less than they would cost today! So, what the hay! I feel kinda bad about badmouthing this Brown guy. If he was still around today I would probably go up and slap him on the back and say, “Good job Gov, good lookin’ out!” He’s probably retired in Florida by now, him and Linda.

    Well, all this got me thinkin’ that maybe those politician guys aren’t that bad after all. Even those guys that I blamed all these years for starting the Vietnam War and the Iraqi War by lying and makin’ shit up must have had a reason for thinkin’ it was the right thing to do. These were some of the greatest men of this century. It is not always popular to do what is needed for the betterment of mankind. I’m not sayin’ that their actions were right or wrong. All I’m tryin’ to say is that the decisions were probably not easy to make and who the hell am I to think that I would have done anything different or that I would have had a better idea?

    I went into the Army in 1968 and when that didn’t work out too good, I blamed them. Now that I think back on it, I just used that as an excuse to whine and get high. So while I was doing every drug I could get my hands on and braggin’ about how I could do better and just wastin’ my life in general, those guys in the government were doin’ things that needed to be done — right or wrong they were just doin’ their best.

    So now I’m thinkin’ I’m not so smart after all and maybe I should have been a little more helpful and a lot less critical. I have to say that I’m sorry for wastin’ my time. However, if I had married my wife Therese 20 or 30 years earlier, I know I would have done a lot better. A lot better!

    Yeah, I can blame it on her!

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