The Sweet smell of the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh

by Gloria Irish
(Pittsburgh, PA)

When one drives over a bridge in Pittsburgh one might be driving over any number of man-made-bridges crossing a river underneath...I can truly smell the river atop the Highland Park Bridge when I am driving to work. I remember the smell of river water moving back and forth on shore. The scent overpowers me with the sweet aroma of wildflowers growing on shore and I can smell the seaweed shimmering just below the edge of the water that used to trap my fishing hook when I would go fishing with my father.

The smell of the river reminds me of the day my father and I would climb down on the river rocks to get closer to the dam because my Dad just knew he would catch his "first great big fish." I would take in a deep breath and cast my line in the river hoping to get a bite... My Dad would climb just a bit lower on the rocks to get a cast into the open free river only this time he slips and falls into the river the we both love and enjoy. The smell of being happy quickly turns to smelling the fish stench water of the Allegheny. Slimy seaweed turns deadly and my Dad is tangled under the river I have come to love. I slide down the slippery rocks and notice I can see his fishing rod and his hand is just a few feet sticking out of the water. I reach out and grab his rod hoping, praying I am strong enough to pull my Dad in from the dark dank water of the Allegheny River.

I pull on his fishing rod with all my might and his head pops out from underneath the water... He begs me to pull harder; he can't get out because the rock are so slippery and the seaweed seems to have taken a liking to him. Out of nowhere, a man grabs his arm and pulls him from his watery grave... My Dad scrambles to the rocks, thanking the gentlemen and laughing and shouting out loud, "That was a close call!" I turn to thank the man who saved my Dad's live and he is gone... I believe my Dad was saved by an angel of God. When I do get a chance to go fishing I always say a little prayer and thank God for the man that saved my Dad's life.

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