Another Thought on the Suicide Bridge

 

Altadena’s hiker & writer wrote a paper the other day about one of her visits to Pasadena.  To Suicide Bridge (SB), aka the Colorado street bridge.  Pasadena born native – Sid Gally – followed her lead and also wrote about the bridge. I’m gonna jump into this subject with them just to simply share a couple of visits, last year and last week.

My visits are usually after sundown and unplanned. A sudden thought brings a sudden change of direction leads me down to the bridge. And onto the bridge we go.  I don’t go often, unlike some who make a walk on the SB or around the Rose Bowl their daily physical discipline.

 

 

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Most people see SB simply as a form of exercise, to get over the Arroyo, or to have a bridge party.  A handful of us see SB as an end of the rainbow.  An even smaller number of troubled, lonely souls see it as the jumping point to the beginning of the end – but they should see SB instead with, “DO NOT ENTER” & ‘WRONG WAY”  flashing in red in their eyes and ears! 

SB was built before the Great Depression (GD).  It’s made of concrete & arches. Once it was finished and the GD had arrived, a few dozen used it as their ticket to escape it, and life.  Since then there’s been a trickle averaging about one suicide jumper every year or two. America has changed over the decades. With the birth of the mortgage economic depression a few years ago, it seems a few more than average have been taking their death leap of no-faith off SB.  The more times change, the more things stay the same.

When times are tough you find out how firm a foundation people have been living on.  And for a couple of hundred people a heavy concrete bridge has not been enough of a firm foundation to keep them from falling.

The bridge is only 150 feet tall. But that’s been plenty high enough for death defying jumpers. Still, it’s primary reason for being built was to ease the crossing of the Arroyo Seco, and bridge the wide gap of Pasadena with Los Angeles, even if that’s an impossibility.

Nevertheless, I see very, very few people when I’m on the bridge. Even less, the police. On the very rare special occasion I see the police, they drive at a hikers pace slowly over the bridge.  But one time last year near sunset I saw something I’d never seen on SB before – homeless people.  A couple were “camping out” at the east entrance. Another, I encountered on the bridge just sitting, lifelessly starring out.  “Wonder why I haven’t seen the homeless here before,” was my instant thought. And then, wondering why they might here in the 1st place?

Sometime shortly after this I happened to read in our Pasadena Star News about a couple of dead bodies found below SB. One was described as probably homeless. 

 

 

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Sometimes I see funny things like the above. A perfectly good hat left behind & the wearer disappeared into the night.  Have they lost their mind?  Who knows….

 

The Pasadena Star News of last Friday mentioned the latest jumper to commit suicide.  Apparently the death came last Thursday early in the day, probably morning.  By coincidence I made another unplanned trek to the bridge. Below are a couple of pics from that Thursday evening.

 

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What little light or color left in the life of that poor soul who leaped to his reward or punishment must have been fading fast. 

 

 

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He chose to pull the plug on whatever color or light he had left to escape into the darkness on the edge of town.

Don’t know for sure what happens to the dead, but I have an idea on good authority.  Others are more certain of the dead to the point of writing books about it. For example, I recall seeing a book just on ghosts/hauntings of Pasadena.  The author, as I recall, believes much of Pasadena is haunted!  There are even tours of “haunted” places such as Suicide Bridge. There was one of these haunted/suicide tours very recently.

 

I’m starving & I’ll lose my appetite if I continue.  But you, do you have any SB stories to share?

 

Say a little prayer for the lost every time you find yourself up on the bridge.

 

Gotta EAT! Stay Thirsty My Friends

Rose wet

16 responses to “Another Thought on the Suicide Bridge

  1. Lots of homeless live near and around the bridge – or they used to. I saw cops harassing one guy with a suitcase on the south/west side of the bridge. One guy who made his home under the Loma street bridge, was an HS older classmate of mine. In retrospect, his schizophrenia was clearing making itself known. I haven’t seen him for awhile.

    • True, homeless have lived around the bridge. It’s just that, until this recent experience, my personal exper never encountered any of them actually on the bridge.

  2. I am a caregiver out here in Riverside county and on the day after Easter Sunday my client was notified that her oldest daughter jumped off this birgde at or around 6pm on Easter. Why cant I find that information anywhere?

    • Betty, I hope & pray the reason you couldn’t “find that information anywhere” is because it’s not true that her daughter jumped off the bridge! I haven’t heard of any suicide jumps around the time period you state. But my condolences to you and her mother if indeed she jumped to her death.

      The prime sources for reporting of SB deaths is the Pasadena Police Dept and our Pasadena Star News paper. Have you contacted them?? If they don’t have any information on this, then hopefully it’s because the daughter did not jump from this bridge, in which case you should get back to your source (client.)

      • I am reading this now for the first time. I am the husband of the woman who jumped from this bridge on Easter Sunday somewhere between 6 and 6:30pm. I am sorry to say that this did indeed happen, and Missy Broome did indeed die. Not sure if anyone (Betty?) is going to read this, but if so, i’m sorry you have to find out this way.

      • Betty, I don’t know why there isn’t any public information about this. It has been 6 months and I am just stumbling across this now. The Pasadena Sun did not report this either. She is very much missed and still incredibly loved. The world is not the same with out her.

  3. It’s a sad subject but important to talk about it. If I ever visit there, I will indeed say a blessing for all those who have passed there. {While I’m at it, I’ll say one from here.} On a brighter note, may you have a happy weekend, puppy dog.

  4. Like you Cafe, the times I’ve driven on the bridge have been spur of the moment decision…Great photos…love the rainbow…the hat…the color…the black and white…you did justice to the subject…

  5. The rainbow over Suicide Bridge, that’s something else. I was hoping to hear your stories sooner rather than later, and you didn’t disappoint. Just as a post script, on my walk last weekend, Albert insisted on following a scent up one of the stone benches and to the railing. Now, if this had been an ordinary dog, one could draw an obvious conclusion. But Albert is no ordinary dog; the usual scents other dogs find endlessly fascinating hold little attraction for him. Then later I heard about the recent suicides. They say desperation has an odor. I wonder if the same is true of despair.

  6. No real good stories of SB, CP, but I remember the history of it, told to me by my former roommate when I first moved to Pasadena. I was properly in awe (they don’t have bridges like that on the Westside of LA) and maybe even a little freaked out. She also mentioned it was haunted.