Wooden Bridge Recently, I remembered a movie about a man being hung from  a bridge sometime around the Civil War era.  As I recall, I was very young and the story line was almost devoid of any speaking. What struck me then was how the story developed (the man appeared to have escaped death) only to discover that it was all in his imagination. Years later, I discovered that the story was “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce. It was made into a short film and appeared as an episode of “The Twilight Zone (I was obsessed by The Twilight Zone as a kid.)

What is completely amazing is that I have remembered this film for over 45 plus years. I can recall images and sounds  from the movie, the look of the man’s face as he awaits execution,  the sounds of gun shots muffled by water, the frantic pace leading up to reaching his wife. Through all these years, I can remember that final twist at the end.

I read the short story a few weeks ago and was stunned by the simple elegance of the writing. Typically, the dialog carries the day but in this story it’s all about description.  My attention chased this story through each paragraph even though I knew the outcome from viewing that episode so long ago.

When we see or hear something amazing, it sticks. Maybe some details get hazy, but what you do know is that your mind changed in that instant.