Thursday, May 13, 2010

Golden Gate Bridge Walk 1987


The Golden Gate Bridge and I both turned 50 in May of 1987, and so, of course, I had to be among that crowd who walked across the bridge. No one thought what would happen when the people from Marin ran into the people from San Francisco in the middle of the bridge - colossal pedestrian gridlock, with no-one paying any attention to that blond shouting for people to return to where they did not care to go -- Charlotte Maillard. With so much weight on the middle of the bridge, the natural curve in the surface flattened out, and the cables above began to swing wildly, and we all felt a certain delight knowing that we were going to die in a major event. Or, at least, everyone stayed calm and amused, as San Franciscans will. There were the odd elements, of course, someone walking across on top of a giant ball; one person seemed to be intent on crawling across. I was fortunate to be with Peter (Panayotis) Arvanitis, Evmorphia Stratis, her brother Eustathios (Stathi) Stratis, and Stathi's lover from Thailand, Prayot Anusak, and their friend Cecilia Cabanag.

When a helicopter hovered beside the Bridge, everyone comically mimed panic, gesturing at the helicopter, waving their arms, and shouting, "Save us!"

It was a lot of fun, but we did not look forward to being stuck on the bridge hours, and so Prayot had us form a single file snake, and he, the head of the snake, wormed our way through what seemed an impenetrable wall of people -- I don't know what he was doing at the head of our snake to make that work. That was only 23 years ago.

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