If you choose, you may follow this arroyo for a tenth-of-a-mile down to the Colorado River at Bend, Texas. The above photo was taken in early spring, this year.
When I was ten or eleven-years old, I built two fragile, but sturdy, bridges across the arroyo. They have long since collapsed from my “construction” in the 1950s. Seventy-plus years ago. There’s neither sign of them, nor of the water pump and pipeline used to bring water from the Colorado up to my grandmother’s house in Bend. The water filled a 500-gallon tank that often overflowed when I failed to turn the pump off at night. The house my grandmother stayed in was the Southwestern States Telephone house, holding the switchboard for Bend and surrounding area. Effie Morris Parks was my grandmother’s name, and she had been born and reared in the Bend community.
Effie drove to San Saba every couple of weeks for supplies, and I maintained the switchboard for customers to reach one another and the outside world.
This early spring of 2022, my wife and I drove to Bend, and I gave her a memory tour of Bend. The switchboard has been removed, the telephone lines coiled up, the poles cut down. My little bridges are gone as well. But there’s cell service and a new bridge across the Colorado.
I have memories I’ll turn into stories from the Bend, Texas Arroyo and the spirit of those days will be reconstituted with a “bridge” to my past.