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Posts Tagged ‘bridge’

        I find things that are the most interesting to me, are often things that are going on right around me; figuratively, in my own backyard.  That is why, when i read an article today about a man who lived less than an hour away from me; and actually at one time in my life, lived less than 10 minutes from my childhood home…i took a major interest in the story of his life and his death.  He was an inspiration to watch and learn from.

         This man’s name was Lewis (Luke) Arends.  He lived in Sparta, Michigan.  You might find by reading this post that you may share a connection with him as well.  Luke was 91 years old when he died on Monday.  But, what i found is that he was the man who “discovered” the Paula Red apple, that many of us know and love.  Paula Reds have a sweet/tart tingle on your tongue and when you taste them, they almost remind you of a ripe strawberry.  When mixed with a couple of other variety of apples…they make a wonderfully, tangy applesauce to feed to your family.  The texture is smooth and cool.  The skins remind me of the old saying, red apple cheeks. 

         It seems that Mr. Arends was an apple grower in the 1950’s.  One day, he noticed an apple tree that was a little bit different than the rest.  He continued to watch this tree grow and eventually, produce apples in time.  He learned that this apple tree was different, in the fact that the apples began to ripen much earlier, in August, than the other apples that he had growing in his orchard.  This new variety of apple tree was good and he decided to name it after his wife, who’s name was Pauline.  The tree is still standing there…a natural tribute to the man; and to the fruit growers who were wise enough to recognize a gift from above.  The tree provided early income needed to bridge the gap from one season to the next…helping fruit producers to ride out the ups and downs that naturally occur due to mother nature’s temperment year- to- year.

         This is when the apple called Paula Red was born.  So, through patenting and propagating the species…everyone gets to enjoy a good tasting, early ripening apple before the first bite of autumn makes it’s presence known.  Thank you Mr. Arends for paying attention to the gift growing in your own backyard.  God bless!

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          The state of Minnesota has decided to pay the victims of the bridge collapse, on Interstate 35, last fall in Minneapolis.   The agreement is costing $38 million dollars.   The bridge fell, taking 13 people to their deaths.   It happened during rush hour traffic.  

          One hundred and fourty five people were injured.  It took up to three weeks to recover all of the bodies burried under the tangled metal and debris.   I remember watching the news on television; seeing those images and wondering how the family and friends could stand the waiting.   How does a goverment body, or an insurance company determine how much a life is worth?  I have a hard time understanding how they can arrive at a financial number that compensates a victim, or their families; for this kind of loss.  I do understand that they must try…but, what an awesome responsibility that must be!

        The bridge had been under construction before the collapse.  It allegedly had construction supplies stacked on the bridge.  The National Transportation Safety Board has been investigating the tragedy since the collapse trying to determine the cause.  Many have speculated that the bridge was over the weight limit because of heavy traffic as well as construction vehicles and supplies.  Others have suggested that the bridge had design flaws; as well as, the metal was possibly corroded from bird droppings, and therefore it was weakened. 

         It sounds as if the victims will receive $400,000; for those who were more extensively injured, there is additional funds to help with their medical expenses.  No matter what, the victim’s families who lost their loved ones in such a public way; will no doubt rather have their loved one with them than  receive financial compensation.  After all…who can possibly determine what a life is worth?  

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       I just have read the news about the father who threw his 4 children, under the age 0f three, from a bridge in Alabama.  Then, he said he didn’t throw them; he claimed that two women took them away in a van.

       Sad, but he really did throw them off of the bridge to their deaths because he had a fight with his wife.  What???  Who could do that?  These were innocent children.  They have been finding the children one by one in the water.  (more…)

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