Strange Coincidence

6:30 PM

Just finished reading the Great Bridge this afternoon - the book by David McCullough about the building of the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC. Let me tell you, if you have any interest in reading about historical things, the place to start is with anything written by David McCullough. I have probably said this before, but the man has an incredible gift for making history come to life! I LOVE his books! So far, I've read John Adams, Truman and now, the Great Bridge. He's written others and I intend to gobble them up. His books are not short, but they are well worth the commitment of time and energy. You learn SO much and feel truly connected to times and places that would otherwise seem completely abstract.
The Brooklyn Bridge spans the East River from Brooklyn to New York and was constructed in a time when Brooklyn was its own city looking across the East River to big, bad New York. The days of Tammany Hall...Boss Tweed...pre-electricity...pre-telephone...Construction officially began in 1870 and 13 years later on Maybe 24, 1883, the Bridge opened. And in between...well, it's some fascinating stuff.
The Bridge was the brainchild of John A. Roebling, a German immigrant who gives new meaning to the words "internally motivated."The man was an engineering genius whose bridges ushered in a new era of engineering and aesthetic marvels. The oldest suspension bridge in America, in Port Jervis, NY, was built by him.

He actually died from complications of an injury sustained while preparing for construction on the bridge. Fortunately, his son, Washington Roebling was also an engineer and had been groomed by his father for just such this occasion. Upon his father's death, Washington stepped in as Chief Engineer and accomplished a task that absolutely boggled my mind as I read about it. I had NO idea what was involved in building a suspension bridge, much less one of the size, spanse and caliber of the Brooklyn Bridge. Seriously, read the book. You, too, will marvel!

I could go on and on in my enthusiasm and delight for all the things I learned, but I'll leave some mystery for you to uncover on your own! Now, in regards to the title of this post - Strange Coincidence - you may be wondering to what I refer.

Here it is: with virtually no prior knowledge of the Brooklyn Bridge (other than having been to NY and seen it) and absolutely no prior knowledge of its creator/engineer, a strange thing happened. First of all, we named our daughter Brooklyn. And yes, it is largely because of the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn, NY, etc. Secondly, my son's name is August. A name chosen for its meaning, its uniqueness, its rarity and because we loved it. Turns out, the middle name of the Brooklyn Bridge's creator and original Chief Engineer, Mr. John A. Roebling guessed it...Augustus.

What a crazy coincidence! What are the odds that both of my children's names would be linked in such a way - in a way completely unrelated to their parentage and last name! Maybe it was just meant to be...

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  1. that is so cool! I need to read some of those books! I love history too. That is neat about the names too. I'll have to tell mom to read this post b/c that is pretty cool! Your kids are growing much too fast...or at least I think mine is.