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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Searching for the Riverside Park Bridge

Posted By on Sun, May 10, 2009 at 8:22 PM

4274/1242005724-riversideparkbridge.jpg This sounds like a strange confession, I suppose, but I actually enjoy finding old postcards that show scenes in Memphis that are unfamiliar. It gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning — because there's something about my twisted mind that says, "I must find that same spot today." And then when I do, and compare the now-and-then images, well ... it's curiously satisfying.

Just as it is damn frustrating when I can not find the image depicted on the card.

And here is a perfect example. A rather dull postcard, really, showing an old car, or possibly a delivery van, crossing (or parked on), a fine-looking stone bridge in Riverside Park (nowadays known as Martin Luther King Riverside Park). We know this because it's actually printed on the front of the card. The back of the card, just so you'll know, give us no clues: it was never used, and never stamped or postmarked, so it doesn't give us a date.

Sorry for the moire pattern caused by my cheap scanner, folks. (Moire? Look it up.) Anyway, if you scrutinize the card, all you'll glean is that the roadway seems to run parallel to a rather deep chasm and then takes an abrupt turn — maybe not a 90-degree turn, but a turn nevertheless — and crosses over a really fine stone bridge, with stone posts at each end. I can't tell if the bridge spans a creek or just a ditch, and I also can't tell what the road does on the other side. The landscape in the background is frustratingly vague. But here's the thing: I've driven all over Riverside Park, and — unless I'm missing something — there is no place where the road does this, and more to the point, there is no stone bridge.

So where was this? My readers — okay, make that ONE reader — very quickly found the location of the building that I thought was an old school (see the post below about the Calvary Rescue Mission), so once again I turn to you for help. Find this location today, please, so I can get some rest.


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