have always been puzzled by an enigmatic gap in Lamont Bridges’ life.
Shortly after the publication of his epic poem, “Pigeon Feces,”
Bridges disappeared for a six-month period. There has always been speculation
that perhaps he was drinking in the culture on Paris’ Left Bank, but
now growing evidence points to the fact that he may have been on “the
Island” the entire time and was doing a little drinking of a different
Recently, the Bridges family has allowed scholars and local barflies unprecedented access to the Lamont Bridges’ Archives, housed in a Bon Ton Potato Chip Tin. The greasy remnants of Bridges memoirs held a shocking revelation for the biographers. Lamont Bridges stated he went to ground after a humiliating defeat during a Powder Puff stock car race at Weissglass Stadium. Although scholars doubt this scenario, there remain disturbing details and unanswered questions in these memoirs.
Bridges stated that in order to recharge his creative juices he decided on a hiatus in Travis. Was it the haunting sound of 10,000 seagulls lulling him to sleep or the fecund smell of the Fresh Kills Landfill that drew Bridges to Staten Island’s Shangri-la, we’ll never know. But if one believes Bridges’ ramblings, he sought gainful employment, acquiring a Staten Island Advance paper route, route #456. During this period, he fell in love with local stock car legend, Linda Hershey, and they carried on a passionate love affair until her unfortunate death during a swamp buggy outing.
Bridges spent many lonely hours gathering wild mushrooms and skunk cabbage in the Davis Wildlife Refuge on Travis Avenue. Residents reported seeing his ghostly silhouette as he walked the ridges of the landfill. Obviously, spinning out of control emotionally and spending most of his days sitting at DeCicco’s Bar on the corner of Victory Blvd. and LeRoy Street, Bridges was stunned back to life by a serendipitous event.
Since it was Easter, Bridges was walking up Victory Blvd. to get some homemade smoked kielbasa from Phene’s delicatessen. In his reverie, he wandered past Phene’s and was passing the bakery when a day-old bubka came flying out the front door, hitting Bridges in the temple and knocking him to the pavement unconscious. He awoke, looking up into the eyes of “his angel”—Marian Kadomski. At 5’6” and 350 pounds, Marian wasn’t considered an angel by many, but perhaps owing to the blow to the head, Bridges was smitten. Although she had no thumbs due to a bread slicing accident, Lamont and Marian could be seen strolling hand in hand along the banks of the Kill Van Kull admiring the twinkling lights of the American Cyanamide plant in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Things went swimmingly and apparently Bridges may not have ever written another poem until that fateful night at St. Anthony’s church hall, during the annual polka-fest. While tromping to the sounds of Mickey Wisienski and the Polka Hounds, Bridges and Kadomski got into a heated argument. Marian left in a huff, walking down Wild Avenue. Unfortunately, at that moment the hay wagon driven by the intoxicated stable owner Yonk Koolhaas came careening around the corner by Schuml Park, flattening Marian.
After the funeral, Bridges walked across the street to Sonny Grasso’s tavern, downed a shot of Wild Turkey, and boarded the 112 bus, never to return to Travis again.
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