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How New England Are You?

How New England Are You?
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75. Know That Covered Bridges Weren’t Covered to Keep Out the Snow
Joe Allen of Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, who answered Yankee reader inquiries for more than 35 years in his “Sayings of the Oracle” column, had a short fuse when it came to questions regarding the origin of the covered bridge. One of his last answers proved to be the hottest: “Jesus for Guard Almighty, we thought all hands knew by this time,” he wrote back to one reader. “Bridges were covered, damn fool, for the same reason women used to wear petticoats–to protect their underpinnings. Ever hear that wood rots when it gets wet? Your asinine suggestion that they were covered to keep the snow off the road is dead wrong. In fact, I recollect throwing snow inside the bridges after a snowstorm so our sleighs wouldn’t grind on the wood.” Rest in peace, Joe.

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