Ed McClanahan Story 1948


Reminds me of my first night in Maysville, in 1948. I was 15, out cruisin' with my new friends Gene and Johnny in Gene's ragtop '34 Chevvy flivver, mustard-yellow with painted fiery red flames blazing out of the radiator, rumble-seat (as the resident 15-year-old, I was in it), foxtails, ah-oogah horn, the works, straight out of Archie & Jughead ..
So anyhow, there we are, putt-putting along down West 3rd Street, when suddenly we see the entire Maysville police force (which is to say, two patrol cars) assembled at the foot of the Maysville-Aberdeen (Ohio) bridge, with their spotlights trained on the tallest spire of the bridge, which is probably 200 feet above the water. Atop the bridge, we find out, is a guy locally (well) known as Wild Bill Dugan , who, under the influence of a copious infusion of gin, had climbed to the top of the bridge 30 days before, and had been assisted down, somehow, by the same police, but had inadvertently left behind a fifth of gin at the top of the spire, and after having served his 30 days (for conduct unbecoming a wino, I guess) and been released, has climbed back up ... to retrieve his fifth of gin!

This blogger remembers it well. I was 10 years old and we lived on 5th street with a great view of the bridge. He didn’t just climb it once, he climbed it twice within a month or so.

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