Clay Thompson is a columnist with the Arizona Republic, writing a column that’s hard to describe. He answers readers’ questions about really odd things here in Arizona or just about anywhere the questioner takes him. Most are non-serious, and the odder the question, the funnier he gets in his responses. People here in the Valley are addicted to him, just as the rest of the country is addicted to the syndicated Dave Barry.
To illustrate, here’s what he had to say on August 24:
“Today’s question: The new bridge across the Colorado River gorge between us and Nevada is called the Mike Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. I know about Pat Tillman, but who is Mike Callaghan? Why is his memory being honored? Sorry, if I’m the only one who doesn’t know.
A few things before we get down to business. You don’t need to be sorry for not knowing about this. If I had to be sorry for all the things I don’t know, I would pretty much just have to wither up and die. Second, it’s O’Callaghan, not plain old Callaghan. Next, have you read any of the stories or seen any pictures about this bridge that is supposed to open in a few months? It is like a thousand gazillion feet above the river. Or something like almost 900 feet. Doesn’t matter. I wouldn’t drive across that on a bet. I don’t care for heights. I bet somebody could make a good living driving vehicles across the bridge with fraidy cats like me curled up in the backseat, whimpering with my eyes squeezed shut. Actually, I’ve heard of such people doing such a service at other high or long bridges and making good money. Anyway, Mike O’Callaghan was one of Nevada’s most popular governors, holding the office from 1971 to 1979. He was a war hero who was awarded the Bronze Star for his exploits during the Korean War, but also sustained wounds that cost him the lower half of his left leg. Before entering politics he was a high-school teacher and boxing coach. (He taught history to Sen. Henry Reid, now the Senate majority leader.) After leaving office, he was a newspaper editor, publisher and columnist. He died in 2004.”
For more spectacular photos of this bridge’s progress, you can go to www.starcasm.net/archives/25085. I think if I had to drive across it, I’d be whimpering along with Clay.