I tried and tried to find out where the red wrecker went next. I drove around the subdivision four times until on 2/25 I decided to give it a go and check out Pont, on the southern side of Bonfils. Surprisingly, I saw the wrecker parked in the yard next to this yellow, numberless house. This cluster of remaining homes have been long tied up in court and sat vacant well before mine. They should have been taken years ago… they are the closest remaining homes next to the runway and could clearly be seen from Natural Bridge Road. Now, it seems, all loose ends are slowly being cleaned up and the houses cleared away. Graffiti strewn and boarded up for years, this particular house was frequently targeted by vandals who wanted their name seen from the street, for you could see the entire backside of this place when driving down Natural Bridge. This house was ready to come down, much like its now awaiting four brothers. For the sheer fact that this street is a stone’s throw away from the Bridgeton Police Station and highly visible from a well-trafficked street, I prefer to photograph these houses from the exterior. Yes I know its illogical to lack the bravery to take interior shots while vandals pay lots of visits here. I’m not comfortable driving into this street often due to the concrete blocks partially blocking the entrance lane. Trees and debris block the only other lane. I’m not a coward, but I don’t fancy the lack of a decent exit strategy in such a vulnerable, well-seen area.
Natural Bridge Road completely changed with the runway expansion. For starters, it no longer is connected to Cypress Road. Cypress simply ends at Highway 70 and Natural Bridge goes towards the terminals. A portion of North Lindbergh actually travels underneath the runway through a paranoid post 9-11 tunnel that forbids the drivers to consider speeding up, slowing down, changing lanes or frowning at the cameras altogether whilst in the tunnel. The landscape is still foreign to me despite the years of watching giant earth-movers flatten the area and the following years of pouring concrete to create this ‘necessary’ new airstrip. The five brothers of Pont were the last standing reminders of the grand valley of houses that could be seen from Natural Bridge. Its saddens me to see one more reminder erased away and the remaining four brothers soon will follow.