Rambo bridge last call strikes chord for faithful British Columbians

Even in illness, there are moments of clarity- such precise moments that speak ones inner certainty with such impact that to ignore them would prove foolhardy at least.

Today I travelled to Hope to attend a celebration of sorts, the last ” hurrah” of the Kawkawa Bridge made famous in the film, ” First Blood”.

I have no problem explaining why this film left such an impression on me, although I have a harder time explaining why my parents let a ten year old watch this movie, which was released in 1982. I clearly recall my parents being enthralled with seeing their own province on the big screen, knowing people all over the world would know what British Columbia looked like – or at least part of it. The area around Hope is beautiful, stunning in fact, but can also be brutal in it’s raw, savage nature. Rambo took it on in full eighties glory, and won. Yes, I had a crush on old Sly when I was ten, and even today when I saw the fellow from England who was a dead ringer for the younger Stallone, my heart skipped a beat at his soulful eyes… sigh. But back to the bridge.

I shouldn’t have been surprised to see the awesome Barry Penner there, since Hope is part of his riding, but I was. He was there in all his awesomeness, giving interviews that never aired- or at least I haven’t seen any yet- and hanging around by himself looking awkward as a duck out of water.

To me, that struck a chord. An MLA, in his own riding, looking out of place.

As I was standing on the bridge, I ran into a woman with whom I had spoken with briefly at the tourist centre while taking photos of my son at the Rambo face insert. She mentioned how nice it was to see all the people here, how she and her husband had always meant to come the bridge and how sad it was that it took this- the bridge being demolished- to get them out here. I nodded, and laughed, and said: ” Yes, all this, and Barry Penner too!” gesturing to the man two feet beside me.

She tossed her head and made a noise,asking if that was something we should be pleased about, and then immediately apologised. ” I shouldn’t have said that, I never know what people think…” 

” Please don’t apologise, I feel the same way.” I said, placing my hand on hers in confirmation.

She looked at me, and the happy eyes turned stormy.

” I just get so mad, so angry at what this government has done in particular over the last year to the people, and then they have the nerve to show up here when people want to save and keep this bridge… and he is standing there like what? Like what? What nerve is that? What has he done for this province?”

She took a deep breath, and looked right into my eyes and I looked into hers, which were filled with pain. Sorrow. I’m not kidding. I talk to people I don’t know all the time and get into conversations like this and people tell me things that matter to them even though I am a stranger and they don’t know me from Zeus. This woman was really upset Barry Penner, MLA for this area, was there on a day when most people wanted to keep the bridge for pedestrian use only. Honestly, I don’t know what it would cost the province to keep up the bridge, but really. Look at the provinces news releases, see how much money is being tossed out all the time, and tell me they can afford to demolish the bridge but can’t afford to maintain it for pedestrian use.  Go on. Try.

I digress. This dear woman went on.

” It’s like this bridge is a symbol of what they are doing to BC, to us! They are crushing us! They get what they can and then POOF! It’s gone when it is no longer useful to them. It just makes me feel so bad. ”

I kept my hand on her arm, told her my name, check out my site and that there are a lot of people trying to save what is good and right in BC. She wasn’t  an internet savvy woman, but I urged her to try, to find others like her, and to find hope that not all is lost, not by far.

The day ended well, I made it home in one piece although the body is tired, worn and still weak, the spirit is strong.

And Barry Penner?

Well, he’s just as awesome as ever…

Barry Penner demonstrates how much of a chance Christy Clark has of winning the next election

15 thoughts on “Rambo bridge last call strikes chord for faithful British Columbians

  1. Gary

    I have never seen the bridge except in the movie but I feel that the government is being small in not maintaining it in some way for the people of Hope. Like, come on, 650 milliom for a stupid stadium roof ( that won’t work if it’s raining for petes sake ) , and they can’t spend a few bucks in Hope ? I think the fact that Penner showed up at all was an insult to the people of Hope and I hope they punish him at the polls first chance they get. And remember Hope, vote YES to get rid of the HST and embarrass CC and her clowns as soon as possible.

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  2. John's Aghast

    Laila, I hope you’re feeling better. Ever the conspiracy issuist(?) I wonder if some of your adversaries (PPP, HST, BCR, CC,) might have put something in your food?
    This is NOT the season to be plagued with maladies. Perhaps the season of discontent – but that will be with us until we rid ourselves of the current political plague. Remember, when it comes to voting, YES to the HST, and ABC!

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  3. Lynn

    Wow! The Pennster is lookin a lot like Gordie.
    And that red shirt!
    I was so thrilled to see Hope on the big screen that I missed the premise of the movie and I had to see it a second time!

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    1. Laila

      ” Fish”.. eh, workforfun…? lol

      Gary, they built a new bridge right beside it, definately needed a new bridge for vehicular traffic – no doubt on that one- but I see no harm in keeping the bridge for pedestrian strolling and history. There aren’ t that many of these bridges around anymore, this one is very small and looks to be in good shape to my laypersons eye. Certainly the residents seem to want to keep it and it attracted a heck of a lot of people yesterday. Hope is a small town, and this is a good draw and tourist spot that should be maintained. Just my two cents on it. But it was great to talk with a lot of people from the area and around BC who showed up, and everyone was planning to vote yes to get rid of the HST, good news!

      John, still sick in the tummy, but taking medication and hopefully better soon. Going to work through it slowly. And it was giardiasis, so likely from some bad water, rather than poisoning..lol…
      Not a fun thing to have.

      Lynn, hes a man unto his own..lol.. we ended up nearly shoulder to shoulder for some time while I chatted with people before I left.

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  4. John Sugden

    Come to think of it, awsome Barry Penner hasn’t really done much for the Province or our riding.
    Seems to be screwing up the Basi-Virk/Auditor situation that is going on right now.

    I’m sort of sorry I voted for him last election, but……never again!

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  5. Julie

    You were ill for quite a few days Laila. What ever you had, really knocked you off your feet. I am happy to hear you are feeling better.

    I acquaint Penner being where he wasn’t wanted….With Christy looking cute under her umbrella, at the election for Point Grey. She thought if she looked cute enough, citizens would vote for her. Well she is causing the BC people to gag, just as Campbell’s face did. Her low down underhanded tactics, are just like Campbell’s too.

    I don’t know one person that is in favor of the HST. Everywhere I go I hear, just how angry citizens are about the HST.

    We know we will win the referendum, despite Christy and the BC Liberals cheating. The problem is, Craig James of Elections BC. He has been nothing other than, a snake in the grass. The BC Liberals have been lying and deceiving, the BC people, for over ten years now. Nothing has changed.

    There have been, Fight HST signs stolen. The signs have been professionally altered. This was reported to the police, I doubt they will do anything about it. They are pro BC Liberals, all the way.

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    1. Laila

      Still ill Julie, but taking meds and at least I am keeping somewhat hydrated now as well, which helps things. Thank you for your concern and kind words! Yes the HST is not wanted and I hope those ballots get sent out and filled out correctly- we cant give Elections bc any reason to toss them.

      NVG, those fingers are pure gold, Pure gold I tell you. It’s a politician thing.

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  6. North Van's Grumps

    Its kind of scary, Awesome Barry Penner, but with his standing there (photo) holding up two fingers, to make two points, doesn’t he look a lot like the former premier, Gordon Campbell?

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  7. cherylb

    The awesome Barry Penner, standing by himself, looking out of place. Loving the visual…..

    Really, if these Liberals had half a brain they’d keep some of these things. Being from Gibsons, I know the power of keeping tourist attractions (think Molly’s Reach). And the city of Guelph in Ontario has all these beautiful foot/bicycle bridges right in the centre of town! These people wouldn’t know good opportunity for anyone but their big business buddies if it walked right up and bit them in the ass!

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  8. jim

    They found millions of dollars to repave 264th street from 0 ave to Highway 1, a road that was in really good shape. The claim was the truck traffic hauling for the new bridge has ruined the road. That was a lie. It was in good shape. This is just a handout to big business and repaving the highway from the USA border to HWY 1, the road didn’t need it.

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  9. Don F.

    He is indeed very Rambo like, let’s see:
    Rambo had eyes, Mr Penner has eyes
    Rambo had a nose, Mr Penner has a nose
    Rambo had a mouth, Mr Penner has a mouth
    I don’t think Rambo wore that type of spectacle nor the politician haircut and I do believe their physiques were different but they are indeed both human??? or are they???
    I know for a fact Rambo would refuse to wear that shirt!
    Don

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