The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.


An interesting new development: I’ve published my first book, A Bridgetender’s View: Notes on Gratitude, and it was very much inspired by this blog, so if you like the blog, you’ll love the book. Check it out!

I have been working on drawbridges since 2001. It’s a wonderful job, mostly relaxing, with a light sprinkling of white knuckle terror to keep things interesting. Mostly, though, it gives you a lot of time to think and observe the world. This blog is my opportunity to share those thoughts and observations with you. There will be no fixed topic per se, but I hope  you will find it interesting. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject! Thanks for stopping by!

If you’re visiting from a device that doesn’t allow you to access my menus on the right, then simply click on the search symbol and then hit enter without typing anything, and you should get a list of all my most recent posts. But if you do have access to my menus to the right, check out my various posts, and view the archives below that, because only my last five entries get individually listed. I post entries on a daily basis. You can also sign up to get my post each day via e-mail, or join my Facebook group where I post links to my blog daily, and have a lot more communication with drawbridge nation!

I look forward to hearing from my readers. Feel free to post comments or contact me here:

91 thoughts on “Welcome to The View from a Drawbridge!

  1. cookiecharm says:

    Love your blog name and concept. Very Creative and interesting I am following and will be back for a visit again soon

    1. Thank you! Looking forward to your insights on my other entries. 🙂

  2. toad (chris jensen) says:

    lucky for me I found you from pouringmyartout

  3. tinaashley99 says:

    Now I want to work on drawbridges!

    1. Well, if you can get past the fact that there are no raises or benefits or holidays off, and no room for advancement, it’s actually a great job. 🙂

      1. comclash says:

        Were you working bridges when the IBEW Local 177 represented the operators? Sadly, do to high turnover and lack of interest, the Union was decertified. Last year, we won an election with the Duval School Maintenance Workers. Negotiated a good contract they haven’t seen in ages. If you think theirs enough interest to get over 50% to vote, contact us.

      2. I was indeed, and was a member myself. But when our pay is so abysmally low, it’s hard to convince someone to pay dues, especially when we would be included in your mailing list with electricians, who were complaining about earning 3 times as much, so we didn’t feel we were being prioritized. But I’ll keep my ear to the ground.

  4. cupitonians says:

    I probably don’t say it as often as I should but your blog is very special to me and I’ve nominated you for 3 awards. Yes. Three. . Much love!

    1. Wow! Thank you very much! 🙂

  5. comclash says:

    Sorry about the past. Could I ask how many operators are left? The IBEW came around just as more high rise bridges replaced draw bridges, so you are a rare bird!

    1. Actually, here in Northeast Florida there are still a TON of us around that remember IBEW. Many of us have been around for a decade or so. There are about 40 bridgetenders in this district.

      1. comclash says:

        That’s a lot more than I would have ever guessed. BTW your ‘dead letter file’ was a good read. ROFL when I read “you should try it some time”, I like your prose.

  6. crisssy101 says:

    I have been reading your posts for over three months. I’ve liked keeping you to myself, however, it’s not really fair to you. So I shared you–whether they take my advice, who knows.

    1. Wow, thank you! I’m very flattered.

    2. Are you still a fan and follower? Hard not to be when someone is passionate and consistent. My favorite way to have morning coffee is reading the daily post even before I get out of bed. 🙂

      1. And to think I’m not a morning person! Glad to be a part of your routine, though. 🙂

  7. Tiny Troll says:

    Huge smiles… As I sit in a tower, listening to the hum of tires on span grates, the rattle of window screens due to SCA winds, and security announcements from various ships; I surf the internet and find YOU!

    From one late 40’s, December born, ever pondering tender to another; Happy Holidays!

    Tiny Troll

    1. Welcome aboard, Tiny Troll! Also check out my Drawbridge Lovers group on Facebook!

  8. LazySusan says:

    Dear Drawbridge-
    I just wanted to let you know that I posted a link to your blog on a website I host regarding construction tradeswomen. It’s at under a menu to the left of the screen.
    Lazy Susan

    1. Thank you! I’m very flattered.

  9. I haven’t edited in a while, Max, but I’m willing to take proposals.

  10. I Love Panama City! Glad you had fun.

  11. Hi Max! You might want to use my e-mail. Everyone can read this…

  12. Barabara, if your bridge job there pays, I would have adventured with you. To me
    Seattle has historic possibilities. A good size Filipino population. A city which has attracted them
    because of its proximity to the Alaskan canneries. Fred and Dorothy Cordova are Filipino
    leaders there., Ftred founded a national filam assn which concentrates on history.

    1. The job pays really well, actually! And if you ever come visit, I look forward to seeing you! I love this city.

  13. Kathy Findley says:

    I am happy new follow. So glad Amy Sassenberg introduced me to your work!

    1. So am I, Kathy! Welcome aboard. 🙂

  14. lolakarpenka says:

    Very nice blog, thank you :)) I am a movement artist and currently working on a project LIFE IS A BRIDGE, which contains interactive performances on bridges…Having read this blog I decided to become a bridgetender :)))

    1. Wow, that was beautiful. Thank you for sharing it. Being a bridgetender would be a perfect job for an artist. It gives you plenty of time to conceptualize future work. Good luck in all your creative endeavors!

  15. Max, you should e-mail me. The whole world can see what you’re saying here…

    1. says:

      It has been a while.Next month, I will turn 82 yrs,imagine. I thoguht Orienals do not age . Heh heh heh.

      I see you re having fun. At least in the picture….I am suppse to co author a book on the Unv
      of the hilippines alumni assn in Ameerica. Am one of the founders. Nommoney to print.

  16. I ride my bike by your bridge all the time and soon my downtown office, PEMCO, will be on Dextor and I will se you more I will be following you!

    1. Yes, I can see a lot of Dextor from here. Looking forward to your feedback. : )

      1. Looking forward to the posts! I’ll wave next time I ride by!

      2. Just don’t be like every other biker and rush the gate when you hear the warning signals going off. It’s a good way to die, and an even better way to give me a heart attack.

      3. Not a chance! I stop and take pictures, promise

      4. Thank you from the bottom of every bridgetender’s heart.

  17. Hi Max! Yes you did. Do you still have my e-mail address? You shouldn’t post private stuff here. Everyone can see it. E-mail me. I’d love to hear from you.

    1. You are always on my mined, you are always in my mind.

  18. maximo p fabella says:


    by Lorraine Carr

    Sherbourne Press, Inc Los Angeles CA 1966 254 pp

    Reviewed by Maximo P Fabella

    This book is the work of an American doctors wife. They stayed 5 years in the Philippines. It

    Its style is highly evocative, and depicts with both irony and and tenderness that could come

    only from intimacy of her subject. The paradox and myths and class superstitions of the

    human conditons in the country.

    She integrates into her sense of milieu the harsh and simple human fact. Faithfully records t

    he contrast and conflict of innocence and brutal calculation in the way Filipinos relate

    to each other.

    This is a book of artt and high intelligence. Its autobiographical l aspect

    does as pure literature. It is a faithful document as seen through the vision of a foreigner,

    of the Philippines immediately after World War II. Her husband, Dr. William “Huddy” was

    assigned to the Philippines. Here is from the second chapter. “All was quiet. Suddenly I flet a

    cold, clammy-like object crawling up my leg. Heavens! Was it a python? I let out a blood

    curldling. scream and lunged right through the mosquito net.” My bedfellow turned out

    to be a little gecko, a wee lizard that was nudging my leg rather kittenish like. For Mrs. Respecio

    the lizard was bidding me welcome to the islands.

    ” I woke early, my second morning in the Philippines for strange sounds had wafted through my

    window.. I heard t he whack of the paddle as the lavandera washed and spanked the wed

    sheet to a snowy whiteness, the creaking wheels of a caratella as the people drove to market,

    a puto vendor carrying bamboo pole, danging at each end a bamboo basket filled with

    tiny parcels wrapped in banana leaves. This is the beginning of a new day in this fascina

    ting land. The vegetable vendor carrying a bamboo pole, dangling at each end was a basket f

    illed with tiny parcels wrapped in banana leaves (rice cakes? The polishing a mahogany floor

    with a coconut husk.
    Despite the hardships , Nino had a happy disposition. He sat under the Manog and shined

    shoes for the family and sang as he worked. The schools reopened, December 1946. There

    were not books except mimeographed copies, for all books were burned by the japanese

    during the occupaation.

    Author observed the girls were beautifully mannered, so artistic

    and with such zest for living. It was a joy and privllege to entertain them.

    She found Quiapo market and a fish, vegetable sections. She had to get use to


    Family transferred to the US embassy compound. They had chance to visit Corregidor.

    To see Malinta tunnel, Fort Drum, Mills and Hughes. Their first Christmas was a typhoon.

    They lived in a quonset hut. They visited Mindanao, Zanboanga and a Basilan coconut

    plantation. They visited Cebu, and Iloilo..> They visited an American pawnborker with a side trip

    Culasi, Antique.

    There were natural calamites. Mayon volcano erupted, there was a typhoon’


    and a flood. There was the “The shower of Rose in Lipa. They visited goo, La

    Union for the curative powers of a well, a sure of rheumatism. They observed cockfighting..

    They visited Baguio and the rice terraces. Witnessed a canao feast. The author has visited

    and seen more of the islands than this reviewer. A highly recommended book.

    Maximo P Fabella, was a professor of history at the University of the East. Trained hin
    history at the University of the Philippines. He has reviewed for Amerasia journal
    other journals.


    1. Hi Max! Well done. I don’t know if you are having this published in a forum that would prefer you not share it in a public forum such as this one? Let me know, and I’ll take it down. Remember, e-mail is private. This space is not.

    2. Barbara:

      I have several book reviews published. I just want a forum. One, LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL
      is about prostitution, the Philippines, Thailand and Japan. I have seen them in person.

      Let me share. Before the US bases were removed, the US and others stated that jobs
      will be lost in the Phil. I went to see Sangley Point base. More jobs were created. A
      computer company assembles, ACER computersl I saw the factory.
      We also drove through a new road that connected Clark Air Force base to the
      Sangley Point naval base.

      One place I send my reviews to is Mabuhay Radio.Com. Earlier, it was Sanrokan.
      come. This is website of people who are from Romblon province.

      If things work out, I am preparing books #3 and book # 4. Basically, it would consist
      of published articles, book reviews and others. Some of the reviews were published
      in fugitive magazines. The articles would include lectures. Like the one delivered
      ne New York City.

      Merry Christmas and take care.


      1. Good luck, Max, and Merry Christmas!

      2. Max, you should consider starting your own blog here on WordPress. No money in it, but definitely a forum for your writing.

  19. Stephen Spring says:

    Hi Barbara, glad I got to see what you do on here. This is my first time visiting a blog….. I guess I’m a little behind the times. Stephen

    1. Welcome aboard Stephen! Hope you’ll visit often. I write something new every day. 🙂

  20. Kip says:

    Hey, thank you for the link excellent work and already going through your archive. Found an interesting story about a guy called Kip who gets stuck in a window, I laughed so hard, almost as hard as when I was stuck in that window, I had forgotten about that. This inspires me

    1. Yay! I love inspiring people!

  21. Best of luck, my friend. 🙂

  22. Hi Max! Use my e-mail. The whole world can see your comments here.

  23. Happy birthday! Glad all is well with you!

  24. maximo p fabella says:

    Help, my draft for MEMORIES OF ISLANDS: a Philippine childhood almost read
    almost ready. Who is your publisher>

    1. I’m self publishing, print on demand, via The best gateway for that is to check out Good luck! Love to read it when it’s done.

    1. maximo p fabella says:

      275 PP THE lYONS pRESS
      gUILFORD cT. 2001

      reviewed by Maximo P. Fabella*

      Seldom do I read, I can read leisurely. The Japanese Occupation (1942-45)
      area of interest, is the Japanese Occupation 1942-45. At that time, I read majority of books
      about the Philippines. I want to the Historical section of Camp Murphy, headquartes of
      the Philippine Army. I have been to Ft. William Mckinley where cousin was buried. He was
      a part of The Death March..

      I can imagine him trudging the hot road from Bataan to Tarlac province. The Filpino
      soldiers walked, the Japanese soldiers, walked or ride k captured trucks. There are
      rare accounts of Filipinos. who escaped the Death, but rare.

      There are only 4 chapters of the book. Waiting and Running, Waiting and Living, Hoping
      and escaping.and escaping. The aftemath..

      It is an account of a family who lived i n a ming in Mindanao, the secon biggest island.
      The husband was a mi9ning engineer. They originally had a good life, with a housekeeper
      and handyman. As time progressed, things tightened. Even food supplies have
      to be purchased from the Lowland area, or the intinerant Chinese traders.

      Afteer 3 years, the famkily were transfered to St. Tomas univiersity which served as
      a Manila prison camp and to Baguio. The end of the war found them in the resort
      /mining city of Baguio.` Son Bob was enrolled at UCLA. The war end aftter all.

      Their son, was a stsudent at Brent School a private Anglican school in Baguuio. Boy ended up in
      UCLA. The book is a good read/.

      *reviewer was a history professor at the University of the East, Manila., a bolok reviewererd,
      for Amerasia journal UCLA

  25. Max, I love you to pieces, but you really should move these conversations to my private e-mail.

  26. maximo p fabella says:



    THE PHILPIINES::: SHATTERED SHOWCASE OF DEMOCRACY IN ASIDE by BETH DAY (Rimulo) New York: Evans and company iInc. 1974. 340 pp Introduction by Carlos P

    Rewed by Maximo P Fabella**

    A teacher once wrned me that a foreigner looking at anotherf is likely to look at it with tinted

    clases. Thisd books introductioln ahrees with that viewpoint. It is with caution thatt this

    reviwer read Beth FDYS the philippines. The imposdition of martial, Sept 32, 1973, has

    ause concerned Americn obserevers tHEY LOOK AT THE MARTIAL LAW IMPOSTION

    with dismay do not really understand what hapned and why it come to pass. One side consist

    of vociferous ritics of martial law consistig of exiltedk academics, clergymem, a few members of

    he US con gress. side consist of military,, detenders business,, US govt. officials who sAw things

    in terms of order.,., continuity and stability. Booth sides are looking at it from the narrow point

    of view.

    The veery title of the book suggessts a feeling of disapplint,when it speaks of “shattered

    Showcase but I am glad tghe book is Avilable. First, the timing. The first American readers
    egarding the events preceding martial and its a nticidents. Also, authro was given all

    available facitlies. time to interiew some participants, vjjsjt available places.

    The second reason is it raise some valid questions : “Why arent the peole compling more

    about the loss of civil liberies? Who is going to suuceed Marcos when he leaves the scene.”

    The answer to the first questi . Filipinos are more concerneddddddddddddddddddddd with the i

    immediate prolbem of food, shlter, land and employment. Filipino masses have nt . Mass

    of the people have not internalized the values and attitudes of democracy ND REMAIN

    APOLITIVCAL. tHE nswer tto yhe secopnd question with a junta lfcabinet members o\r

    Mfrs. Marcos. The later, sdeems closer as subsequent events have proven.

    The book has ten chapers, the mlost important pars are chapter sic. :

    The new society” onwards to The Philippines and US today.

    The program of tshe New Society as a lot tocomment itself. Take land reform for example

    it aims at makking many Filipinos landholdlers and decent5ralize control from the larghe

    estates that are reminders of folonal past. It aims at restructuing the ecoonomic ND SOCIAL
    at the ordrer of the country

  27. maximo p fabella says:

    I hope you had a great christmas. It is cold as I write this. In the 40s. We went to my brother in law for x mas. Keep well.


    1. I did, indeed! Although sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever be warm again… Best wishes to you, dear friend.

  28. maximo p fabella says:


    Sorry I did not write ypu an e mail. My, the new year has started. I do not know how the years slipped away. First my 80the natal, halloween. My wife Luming, and daughter Baverly gave
    me a party. At one of those, all you can eat Chinese restaurants. Our guests were mostly
    r3elatives. My son, Ted, daughter in law, and Nic, our grandson, surprised me. They slept
    overnight and back to Atlanta.

    The 3 did not make it here for Christmas. They went to NY to visit Barbara Mohar,
    Allison’s mother. Allison does computer lecturing. She has been to Paris, and London
    Several times. ALLI that is what we call her, graduated from Georgia Technology
    seumma cum laude. She worked for Atlanta Journal Consitution.

    Ted is a graphic computer graphic artist. Ted is co author to a graphics book.
    Nic is 15, in the 9th grade. He makes As abd Bs mostly. The ood thing is he inheried
    his Dad’s(Teds) height. So he will be abuit 5 feet 6 inches tall. He goes to a private

    I have been trying to rid my files. Nothing there is incriminating. But, you never know.
    I have 6 filling caibinet of files. Now it is getting cleanere.

    I have not seen DEL. I saw her last at a Manila-Thai restaurant. I do not know if she is
    doing real estatge. I think the 3 girls have finished. One is a nurse, who went to the
    navy. Did you know Del is a trained nurse?


    1. Hi Max, I’ll delete this soon, because it has a lot of personal info and everyone can see it. E-mail is always better. I’m glad you and the family are well. It should be an interesting new year. And no, I didn’t know Del was a trained nurse. All is well here. Working on publishing my second book. That keeps me very busy.

      1. maximo p fabella says:

        I I want ol read both books. I want you to shine, and I will bask in reflected glory,
        I am looking about reprinting my book, PORABLE RIZAA READER. tHE FIRST 100 sold.
        It is too late to be a James Michener, am thinking about it.

      2. If only we could all write with James Michener’s success, Max!

  29. maximo p fabella says:


    am glad for you. Mrriot, uasing their computers.


  30. Barbarfa
    tons lof new boolks. third bolume of prof Diamond. Read earlier 3 Am seling my books in the Phil. Did I eer gift you with PORtABLE RIZAL READER?

  31. I have a dream,wish. Visit Jax win you win lottery, heh heh heh.

    i hve not been to the jax LNDING IN while. Difficult without the car. I use bus to go to the O Park library and Senior center.Am tired f walking long diwtance/. Marrit is about 4 mies awaay.

    1. You can always visit me in Seattle, if you win the lottery! And then you could afford a chauffeur, too! 🙂

  32. maximo says:

    Barbara If you are having fu nwith your Seaattle reations,,,,,,,,,,,,GOOD LUCK
    will be dancing in saturdady at 57th Heaven. Last night at karaoke, sang Hotel California,If you o away, Fernando, Isla Bonita

    1. I would have loved to hear you sing, Max! 🙂

  33. max says:


    Man gave food tpo the poor. He was praised. When he asked why are there so ma ny poor? He
    was calleda Communist

  34. max says:

    histories, phil included, can be complex.histories changes in enerpretation.,

  35. arbafra dear

    most gratified you are happier in gthe new places, a new significant ogter, opportunity o write,
    we dumped a family reuno in Niagara falls, Canada. Lumin did n want to go.

    was at 57thHeaven last night. aside from a $5 enrqnce, I found Ldy very good ancer, whie American. So we bogied and cha cha ed away. Wal ack home. Got home before 12.
    I had to reread good book, My sisters Graxce, reriews librARIAN, jO f mIlleer, RETIRED
    FOREIGN LANGUAGE teacher Hwaii. She nd Steve Mkiller, joibned granddaughter, Son in law has a hosital job.


    1. Live is good, Max! So glad you are living it to the utmost. Keep dancing.

  36. maxkimo fabella says:

    Barbara: am writing at Marriott otel computer. i cleard message. I realy have book reviews
    to put in.
    i mentioned have book reviews in UCLA AMERASIA JOURNAL/ucla.
    News, I read about being ivlved in book bo,4. A history of University of the Philippines Alumni assn with Arsenio Talingdan, Luz Micabalo. this a u,s, based rg of university of the philippines alumni/max

    1. Congrats Max! I still wish you’d use my e-mail, though. 🙂

  37. maximo p fabella says:

    you re probably at hork. But hey, side from work your doing writing,Hard to do. I have a buch f other books I want to do. Somthimes the spirit is willing, the plesh is not.

    Univ of Nrth Florida is now on of top 10 schoold the State. Its offerings various. Am glad bout their nursing school which has Msters Degre lvel.Our daughter Beerly pass ed her business ad degree there. I use toprovide her tuition monies, when she passed, her employer reimburses .
    A nt so unusual praticed. Ted, the older, in Atlanta passedthrough FLOARTS in Palalka. The to Atlnta college of the arts, ACA. Guess what, she ced both schools. ACA ffered him an instructrship.

    Our grandson NIC goes t private science school Nic now 16? grandpa r “Lolo” in Tagalog is s pround.
    Nic even has a girlfriend, who is an Indian from India, Atlanta hs a good commercial elemmnt
    f Indians from Indi,a.

    Thisis a ake up or nt writing. No word from Del Papel. Del as a nurse, a lawyer, and a ded husband.4/27/18

  38. says:

    Grandson N ichoas Scott is 5 feet 6 inches. Taller than is daddy. He is finisedhing u prvate school grade 12. He is of course, an honor student. Her Mom Allison Mohar works for the same computer company. They pay well. Lets her go to Europe occasionanlly. She has taken family to Londn Museum, and the Luvre (sp? Me,I can nly dream of those places. I continue to read boos, at therae o 2 a week. max

  39. Maximo "max" says:

    Barbara apologies for not connecting. . I did tell you I saw our friend Del Papel at a Filipino restarant. She looks good, children getting placed. One aa nurse went to servi ce n out, one girl is a lawyer with a Georgia municipal council. Yes, leal council. I remember Nes with bad feeling, He was putting me down publicly. I do not remember doing them harm. It was I who get Del’s application to NRS

    <y natal day is hallolween. 19/31/36 will e 83 yrs old. Bascially my complaint, I have to awaken to go to the bathrooms, at least once,.

    I will be going to spend a week in Atlata, 3rd week of the month. Ted is ending an invitation.
    I teach them how to cook "adobo" Ted does, am teaching Nic/icholas Scott. who will e going to
    a university this fall. Tim flies.The 3 of them are OK Allison/Alli always has a job.

    They also a renal condo in Panama city. I have een there twice.

    Beverly has a good omputer job. She goes tol San Francisco every oher week.flies.
    My oldest siseer hangs on even wth her diabetes.She is married to a Cauciasian, who
    has expired. two children, he oldest Sharon Kagiyama is a nurse but works in Denver. Peter
    a chmist remains in Lincoln. Peter has taught Englkish in Korea. Has vvisied Singapore..

    1. Glad to hear from you, Max! I wish you’d use my e-mail, though. This is very public.

  40. says:

    maximo p fabella
    Iaways envy your perigratiomns. Wish O could folloew.


    1. You’ve been places I can only imagine, my friend. 🙂

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