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Friday, September 27, 2013

Time of Year (Halloween)

The inside is covered with graffiti, most along the lines of "Lydia Lives."
Every once in a while different thoughts, senses and events come together to form the perfect convergence, creating perhaps more questions than answers.  I just returned from a vacation in Southern California, which reminded me of a song that I grew up with (Hotel California, Eagles).  I never really paid attention to the lyrics, but I did tonight and it surprised me how the message leads you to a dark place. Don Henley of the Eagles was asked about the meaning of the song lyrics during a 60 Minutes Interview back in 2007 his answer was:  It’s basically a song about the dark underbelly of the American Dream, and excess in America which is something we know about.
Hotel California, Eagles
I started to relate a story that I read in a newspaper as a teenager but I got sidetracked when I located the story of Lydia’s Bridge.  Some non-believers, might call it hogwash, others yet may call it Urban Legend.  The important thing is, what do you think?  
Lydia's Bridge

On certain rainy nights, where US 70-A twists around a sweeping curve that passes by an old, overgrown underpass, drivers will see a young woman in a white evening dress standing by the side of the road, desperately trying to flag down a passing car. If anyone pulls over to help the young lady, she climbs meekly into the back seat of the car and explains that her name is Lydia, and that she's just been to a dance and now she's trying to get home. She gives the driver an address not too far away, and he kindly agrees to take her there. The driver may try to engage Lydia in conversation, but she seems distracted and in a world of her own, so he just leaves her in a respectful silence and concentrates on the road ahead.
When the car pulls in to the address that the young woman gave, the chivalrous driver invariably hops out to open the door for her — only to discover that she has vanished.
Perplexed, the man goes to the door, where an old woman answers. The man explains that he's picked up a young lady named Lydia by the overpass who asked to be brought to this address, but she's no longer in the car. He wonders if she may have run out before he could open the door, and he just wants to know if she's safe and if everything is as it should be.
A faint, pained smile of recognition passes over the old woman's face, as she reaches for a picture in a silver frame sitting on a table by the door. It's a photograph of the young woman the man drove to the house.
"Lydia was my daughter," the old woman says, "She died in a car wreck by that overpass in 1923. You're not the first one, and I suppose you won't be the last. Every so often, her spirit flags down a passing driver. I suppose she still doesn't understand what happened to her. I suppose she's still trying to get home."
That's why the overgrown underpass near Jamestown is called Lydia's Bridge. Drive past it on a rainy night and you may see Lydia, too.                                                                   ~ Stories from the Piedmont                                                                        
The post I was originally going to write (also about a hitchhiker) will be written shortly, look for it soon.  The best is yet to come…

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