Two separate incidents on the same day nearly came to disaster at the construction site of the new bridge being built over the Tennessee River in Loudon County.
According to police reports, at approximately 10:00 Thursday morning February 20th, an ETHRA van arrived on the east side of the site with six senior citizens inside. The elderly people, who reportedly reside at the Southern Comfort Care Center, had heard that there was some bridge work being done there. They came to see if they could get new dentures or have adjustments made to existing false teeth.
When the construction supervisor advised them that the bridge work being done was not the kind they desired, things nearly got out of hand.
“I’ve never seen such an angry bunch of old people,” said Lon Chaney (no relation to the famous actor) of the Britton Bridge Company. “I thought we were gonna have to threaten ’em with the bulldozers.”
Luckily, one of the laborers called 911 on his digital phone and alerted the LCPD of the brewing trouble. Officers were dispatched, and the van returned to the Care Center in time for the noon meal. One of the residents quipped that she didn’t know how she was supposed to chew beef stew when her d**n bridge kept falling into the bowl.
On the same day, at approximately 2:00 PM, a group of Irish descent protesters gathered on the west side of the bridge. They marched and carried signs calling for the dismissal of the Britton Bridge Company as the construction contractors. “It’s bad enough our cousins are being persecuted by the limey bastards,” said beloved local columnist Wesley Loftis. “Now they’re trying to take over construction in our adopted land.”
The two sides remained at a distance for most of the afternoon, until a large rock landed amongst the laborers. Immediately following, Mr. Loftis was heard to be yelling “It wasn’t me! No sir!” Some of the construction crew then began throwing rocks at the protesters, who batted them back with their signs. The picketers were planning a rush on the bridge when the Loudon Police Department was dispatched and discouraged any further violent outbursts.
Mr. Loftis was encouraged to go home before he became another statistic in his own newspaper’s arrest report. No further protests are planned at this time.