Have you ever been to San Francisco? I have not, but I have always wanted to see the Golden Gate Bridge as the fog rolls in as if trying to hide all its beauty. In January of 1933, the Golden Gate Bridge, the bridge they said could not be built, started to become a reality, and a reality it was at completion in 1937. Before 1933, the only way to get from San Francisco to Marin County California was by ferry. A bridge was very much needed but no one ever thought it would become a reality because of the harsh winds that could blow up to 80 mph and churn waves up to 50 feet high across the mile-wide span. However, because of thousands of local workers, that inanimate object seemed to take life and give new life to the San Francisco Bay.
In this heartwarming story of a boy who thought his dad was the most important worker on the Golden Gate Bridge, soon learns that it was a team effort. Robert and Charlie would sit at the point after school and watch their dads through binoculars working on the bridge. Charlie’s dad was a painter and Robert’s, a Skywalker, they called men like Charlie’s dad Skywalkers because they were high-iron men and sometimes when they were up so high working and the clouds would come down around their shoulders, they became known as Skywalkers.
One day they were watching, and the wind picked up and some of the scaffolding fell, dropping 12 men into the water below, only 2 were saved. It took them a few scary moments to find their dads through the binoculars and relief finally made it back to their anxious eyes. Robert thought about what they had seen and realized that it took a lot of men to make something so enormous and grand. He felt a little ashamed but soon realized that all the work the men did was equally important as well as equally dangerous. Robert’s dad was proud of his contribution to the bridge, and Robert could feel how much he loved the bridge as he compared it to a giant harp. On the opening day everyone was excited, no cars were allowed, you could only walk across. It was like a party walking across the giant bridge where ships could now sail under, there was dancing, cheering, people riding unicycles and lots of pride, and billions of smiles.
Even though this is a fictional story by Eve Bunting and illustrated by C.F. Payne, the tragic accident really took place. It is a great little story, and one that makes you want to learn a little bit more of this immense accomplishment brought to life from the doubts of so many. Maybe someday I will get to stand at the point where Robert and Charlie did and look on in amazement at such an accomplishment.