Meditations on the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Oregon's Crown Jewel of Socialism
(Part Two of the Newport Trilogy)
By Matt Love
Nestucca Spit Press announces the release of Love & The Green Lady, Meditations on the Yaquina Bay Bridge: Oregon’s Crown Jewel of Socialism, by Matt Love.
Oregon opened the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport on Labor Day 1936. Built during the New Deal, the Yaquina Bay Bridge was the aesthetic and engineering brainchild of Conde McCullough, Oregon’s State Bridge Engineer from 1919 to 1937. For 75 years the Yaquina Bay Bridge has stood magnificently as a monument to excellence in architecture and how a partnership between state and federal government in the throes of an economic calamity can produce something practical, beautiful, and lasting. It is nothing less than an Oregon landmark and a powerful reminder how to build a great bridge.
"Since I moved to the Newport area four years ago, I’ve driven across the bridge thousands of times and basically had my entire aesthetic redefined,” said Love. “My obsession for this magnificent piece of engineering and McCullough’s genuius inspired this book and its highly eccentric construction. I like to think that no one’s ever written a book about a piece of Oregon engineering quite like this."
Blending an eclectic variety of literary genres, including memoir, essay, vignette, autobiography, letter, homework, meditation, ode, commentary, oral history, polemic, curriculum, and confession, the book also contains over 100 photographs of the bridge taken by Love and some of his students.
"One sunny afternoon, I looked at the bridge’s soaring sinuous green lines and saw a woman. Call it personification or call it a writer’s pretentiousness, or call Dr. Freud, but the Yaquina Bay Bridge suddenly appeared to me as a very attractive woman. Right then, I dubbed her the Green Lady and I was in love," writes Love in the book’s introduction.
Love is the author/editor of The Beaver State Trilogy, Citadel of the Spirit: Oregon’s Sesquicentennial Anthology, Super Sunday in Newport: Notes From My First Year in Town (part one of the Newport Trilogy) and Gimme Refuge: The Education of a Caretaker. He writes the “One Man’s Beach” column for Oregon Coast Today and the “On Oregon” blog for Powells. In 2009, Love won the Oregon Literary Arts’ Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award for his contributions to Oregon history and literature. He lives in South Beach and teaches English and journalism at Newport High School. He’s currently working on a book about the filming of Sometimes a Great Notion, the third installment in the Newport Trilogy.