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Madison County

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NEWS
September 5, 2002 | By Gayle Ronan Sims INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The covered wooden bridge made famous by the movie The Bridges of Madison County has been severely damaged in a fire, and authorities are investigating whether it was arson. Only a charred shell of the 119-year-old Cedar Bridge remained after the Tuesday night fire in Winterset, Iowa. The decking collapsed into the creek below. Madison County has just five covered bridges remaining, all on the National Register of Historic Places. Cedar Bridge was the last of them open to traffic, and thousands of people have visited it since Robert Waller's book, The Bridges of Madison County, was published in 1992.
NEWS
October 24, 1993 | By Donald D. Groff, FOR THE INQUIRER
The Bridges of Madison County - the bestselling novel - had a big effect this month on a festival celebrating the bridges of Madison County, the nonfictional Iowa county where the book's story is set. An estimated 66,000 people showed up Oct. 9 and 10 for the annual Covered Bridge Festival, 43 percent more than last year. The Robert James Waller novel about an affair between a farm wife and a National Geographic photographer sent to shoot the bridges has been on bestseller lists for more than a year.
NEWS
November 5, 1993 | By ALBERT DiBARTOLOMEO
I confess. I'm one of the millions who's read The Bridges of Madison County, the slim romance novel by Robert James Waller that's had a stranglehold atop the best-seller list for more than a year. Worse, I confess to actually listening to the newly issued Ballads of Madison County in which the author sings, no mouths, saccharine songs, and in the liner notes refers to himself as one of the last of the "cowboys. " (Just as the main character does in Bridges.) To Waller, a cowboy is an independent man who moves to the beat of his own drummer with a deaf (or maybe tin)
NEWS
May 2, 1996 | By Jennifer Lin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It's the question on everyone's mind, the topic of heated debate among women and men all across China: Did Francesca do the right thing? From middle-aged wives in loveless marriages to young couples impatient with old-style thinking, they're all talking about Lang Qiao Yi Meng - The Bridges of Madison County. Yes, schmaltz knows no borders. American companies may have some trouble exporting cars or turbines to China, but the Hollywood dream machine still knows how to crank out a good tearjerker with universal appeal.
NEWS
October 17, 1993 | By Sonia R. Lelii, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Virginia Scott, once a bridge tender's wife, remembers when beautiful boats shaped like little bungalow houses floated up and down the Raccoon Creek, passing the Locke Avenue Bridge. That was long ago, when fertilizer and produce were shipped from farm towns like Swedesboro to big cities like Philadelphia. "Sometime it come at night. It didn't bother me so much, the boats," said Scott, 70. "It was so beautiful coming down the creek. They'd blow to let us know it was comin.' We'd be wavin' and they'd be wavin'.
NEWS
July 25, 1995 | BY DAVE BARRY
As a sensitive and artistic individual, I have spent a lot of time recently trying to figure out how I can cash in on "The Bridges of Madison County. " This is of course the humongous best-seller book by Robert James Edward Henry Morton "Bud" Waller. It was recently made into one of the summer's top movies, "Batman Forever. " No, sorry, the movie is called "The Bridges of Madison County. " It tells the compelling story of a lonely and bored Iowa farm wife named Francesca Johnson, who is actually Meryl Streep but her family does not realize this because she has dyed her hair and is using an accent.
NEWS
October 28, 1990 | By John Corr and Majorie Matthews Corr, Special to The Inquirer
"I see all the fossils I care to at the office," he said, summing up his attitude toward the proposed trip with an admittedly weak witticism. Still, a few weeks later, here is the same cynic poking around in a pile of rocks on a warm weekend in Madison County and saying things such as: "This is my very first trilobite!" Or: "I'll show you my crinoid if you show me your brachiopod. " He is hooked. Another rockhound is born. It's easy for otherwise rational people to develop a fascination for fossils in this part of the world.
LIVING
May 30, 1993 | By Tanya Barrientos, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Two decades ago, love meant never having to say you're sorry. Remember Love Story's Jenny and Oliver? They fell in Ivy League love. They had good sex. She died of leukemia. He watched their youthful dreams wither, and all that bittersweetness wrenched the hearts of flower children of the '70s. Two decades passed and those flower children grew up. They had kids. They became middle-aged. But their thirst for sappy romance apparently was never quenched. Just open the cover of the runaway bestseller The Bridges of Madison County, by Robert James Waller, and you'll see Oliver and Jenny all over again.
NEWS
January 4, 2008 | Inquirer photographs by Tom Gralish
A one-room schoolhouse in Madison County, Iowa (of "Bridges of ... " fame), was where the Democrats of Lee and Jefferson Townships, most of them farmers, made their choices for presidential candidate known when they caucused from 7 to 8 p.m. yesterday. philly.com See more of Tom Gralish?s photography from Iowa, and from around our region, at http://go.philly.com/caucus For Tom Gralish?s photo blog, visit http://blogs.phillynews.com/inquirer/sceneonroad
NEWS
June 2, 1995 | by Gary Thompson, Daily News Movie Critic
Many people found it impossible to picture Clint Eastwood as the lead in the movie version of the weepy best seller "The Bridges of Madison County. " Eastwood, apparently, was one of them. The book's florid account of a globetrotting B.S. artist and self-described World's Greatest Lover who bird-dogs a lonely farmer's wife in rural Iowa is exactly the wrong kind of role for the reserved Eastwood. So Eastwood, who wound up directing the movie after Bruce Beresford quit during pre-production, got rid of everything about his character, Robert Kincaid, that didn't make sense for him. Which turned out to be just about everything.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
June 7, 2013
Inferno By Dan Brown Doubleday. 492 pp. $29.95 Reviewed by David L. Ulin   Some years ago, I was on a book-reviewing panel when someone in the audience asked what we, the panelists, thought of The Bridges of Madison County , which was then a fixture on best-seller lists. We hemmed and hawed, tried to talk around the question, until our moderator acknowledged that, most likely, none of us had read the book. This led to a discussion of the difference between critics and readers.
NEWS
January 4, 2008 | Inquirer photographs by Tom Gralish
A one-room schoolhouse in Madison County, Iowa (of "Bridges of ... " fame), was where the Democrats of Lee and Jefferson Townships, most of them farmers, made their choices for presidential candidate known when they caucused from 7 to 8 p.m. yesterday. philly.com See more of Tom Gralish?s photography from Iowa, and from around our region, at http://go.philly.com/caucus For Tom Gralish?s photo blog, visit http://blogs.phillynews.com/inquirer/sceneonroad
NEWS
August 9, 2007 | By Tom Gralish INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
On the eighth week of my road trip, I drive north on Route 309, then detour to Bethlehem, capturing folks in photos at two of the great free events of summer. But both will soon end, so you have to hustle. After more than 20 years, Musikfest, which ends Sunday, is still one of the world's largest free music festivals, though tickets ($18-$49) are required for big-name performers such as Ludacris, B.B. King, Meat Loaf, Deep Purple, Stone Sour, and the Black Crowes. All the other - more than 500 - musical performances on 13 indoor and outdoor stages throughout Bethlehem's historic downtown are free.
NEWS
July 12, 2004 | By Dave Turner INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Forget the bridges of Madison County. That was Iowa. Pennsylvania has the most covered bridges in the country, and the first in the nation spanned the Schuylkill at Market Street in 1805. But from a peak of 1,500 throughout the state in the 1870s, there are now just 211. Most were lost to fire and flood, or to make way for development. The most recent casualty, Mood's Covered Bridge, built in 1874 in East Rockhill, Bucks County, burned down last month. Until then, the number of covered bridges in the Philadelphia area had held steady at 29 since 1985.
NEWS
September 5, 2002 | By Gayle Ronan Sims INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The covered wooden bridge made famous by the movie The Bridges of Madison County has been severely damaged in a fire, and authorities are investigating whether it was arson. Only a charred shell of the 119-year-old Cedar Bridge remained after the Tuesday night fire in Winterset, Iowa. The decking collapsed into the creek below. Madison County has just five covered bridges remaining, all on the National Register of Historic Places. Cedar Bridge was the last of them open to traffic, and thousands of people have visited it since Robert Waller's book, The Bridges of Madison County, was published in 1992.
NEWS
October 21, 2001 | By Janice Ward INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
I'm out of the 13 original colonies! I'm in the Louisiana Purchase! Pardon my elation, but such was my exhilaration at finding myself in . . . south-central Iowa. Understand, I had never been west of Pittsburgh in my 46 years, and I hadn't even been on a plane in 17. Why so long? Lack of time and funds; inertia; a Jersey Shore vacation routine; and a nonflying husband with whom the children and I have happily explored the Eastern Seaboard by car, train and boat. But they take you only so far, and I craved something different; the inner pioneer chanting "Go West, middle-aged woman" was becoming impossible to resist.
NEWS
April 7, 1997 | By Russell E. Eshleman Jr., INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
Here in Madison County, where novelist Robert James Waller turned some simple covered bridges into a metaphor for love, gray ribbons of lonely highway seem to run forever through an endless expanse of corn and soybean fields. Towns are few and far between. Yet, it is in this context that Mike Rodgers - proprietor of the only liquor store in this town of 4,500 people, three bars and the birthplace of John Wayne - got a most unusual request a few years ago. A customer came into Rodgers' Spirits & More and asked for a $750 bottle of Scotch.
NEWS
September 16, 1996 | By Suzanne Sataline, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It won't exactly be Hoop Dreams. This documentary will have no simmering tension or rags-to-riches rise. About the only dramatic arch in the story will be the swoop of stone arcing over Pennypack Creek. Nevertheless, the story of the Frankford Avenue Bridge will be in prime time. In Japan. This winter, the 75-foot span will be featured in the documentary series Bridges of the World, running Sunday and Thursday nights on Nippon Television Network (Japan's NBC affiliate)
NEWS
May 2, 1996 | By Jennifer Lin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It's the question on everyone's mind, the topic of heated debate among women and men all across China: Did Francesca do the right thing? From middle-aged wives in loveless marriages to young couples impatient with old-style thinking, they're all talking about Lang Qiao Yi Meng - The Bridges of Madison County. Yes, schmaltz knows no borders. American companies may have some trouble exporting cars or turbines to China, but the Hollywood dream machine still knows how to crank out a good tearjerker with universal appeal.
LIVING
September 15, 1995 | By W. Speers This story contains information from the Associated Press, New York Times, USA Today and Inquirer staff writer Gail Shister
Robert James Waller's The Bridges of Madison County, on the New York Times bestseller list longer than any fictional book in more than 40 years, will drop off on Sept. 24 after 162 weeks. The record of 178 weeks is held by The Robe, about the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. "It wasn't just a bestseller," Times book review editor Charles McGrath said of Bridges. "It became a huge phenomenon. " Indeed, in the last year at least 30 couples have wed at covered bridges in Madison County, Iowa, and next month a hundred busloads of pilgrims are set to hit Winterset for the county's 26th annual covered bridge festival.
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