I read in the Citizen today that this is the anniversary of March 2nd, 1981 explosion on the Old Seven Mile Bridge that killed the tender in his booth. The top of the new bridge (built a year later) has a memorial plaque for anyone driving slow enough to spot it. For those who don't drive slow enough I took this picture:The old bridge had a lift section to allow boats through and the story goes an aqueduct truck with a back hoe on the bed passed under the booth and wrecked the propane tank which supplied the bridge tender with gas. The explosion blew a hole in the old Seven Mile Bridge which was filled only temporarily until the new bridge was built a year later.The old bridge, built by Flagler's engineers still serves the trolley that runs to Pigeon Key from Marathon, and the southern piece is now a fishing pier. I rode the old bridge in 1981 but as I was on two wheels it was not all scary as it was for many drivers, and trucks were required to fold their mirrors so they could pass each other on the narrow roadway built over the original rail tracks in 1938. So the next time your drive the famous bridge you might want to spare a passing thought for the late Peter Fancher who died a grotesquely unfortunate death 30 years ago today.
For my complete essay on the Seven Mile Bridge from three years ago:http://conchscooter.blogspot.com/2008/05/ninth-wonder.html