The Kissing Bridge at WKU

In 2015, we spent a few days letterboxing in Bowling Green, KY. We had a blast! Since then we’ve been back for a few baseball games and once to revisit Russell Sims Aquatic Park, but we haven’t spent much time boxing…even though BG is less than an hour away and has more than 50 letterboxes. Yesterday, almost on a whim, we decided to pack up a lunch and head back to Bowling Green. Most of the boxes in BG are drive-bys or short walks so we were able to find 8 (plus 2 strikeouts) during the short time we were there.

One of the highlights of the day was walking the campus of Western Kentucky University. It is a huge campus, and with classes out for the summer, we had the place almost to ourselves. On one end of campus (near Garrett Conference Center), in the courtyard, stands Old Fort Bridge. The bridge is the only remnant left of Fort Albert Sydney Johnston (which is now recorded on the National Register of Historic Places as Fort Lytle). The bridge was used as a crossing for students during the Civil War and was owned by both the Confederate and Union armies at one point in time.

Today the bridge is famous for another reason – it’s a place to fall in love. Known as the “Kissing Bridge”, legend has it that if two students kiss atop the bridge on their first date, they will be joined for life. The current university President, Gary Ransdell, often took his girlfriend (now wife) to the Kissing Bridge when they were students. They have been married for 45 years so there must be something to the story.

Angie and I met in January 2011 on the dance floor of an iconic gay bar in Denver. We had both been dragged there reluctantly by friends and neither of us could dance. Our first date was to Olive Garden. I knew it was love when she used both a coupon and a gift card to pay.

Sometimes I like to imagine what life would have been like if we had met each other in college. Would we have stood atop the Kissing Bridge and sealed our fate? Probably not, since it would have been the early 90s and being out just wasn’t in back then. Would we even still be together? I’m not sure. Part of what makes us work so well is that we each followed a different path that just happened to lead to the same happy place…before we met one another. Regardless, it’s still fun to think about all the things we might have done together over the past 2 decades.

As a student at WKU, I don’t recall hearing about the Kissing Bridge. I only learned about it through letterboxing (which besides being fun, really is a great way to learn new things!). Though we’re no longer students and are pretty secure in how we feel about our future together, we still stood atop the bridge yesterday and gave each other a little kiss. I suppose, it never hurts to hedge your bets!




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