Mackinac Bridge Toll Booth Operator Retires After 30 Years
How many times have you crossed the Mackinac Bridge? Each time, you had to pay a toll, no getting around it. If you've been through those toll gates more than a few times, you were very likely greeted by Pat Rickley. Pat has been a toll booth attendant for thirty years, starting when he was 29 years old.
After three decades, however, Pat has decided to hang up his toll collector hat. He's calling it quits...it's a simple retirement that made national news.
Big deal, you say?
It definitely is.
Pat's retirement has made national news...
Why, you inquire?
Pat's demeanor, that's why. Always friendly, never appearing to be bored or upset with his job. Always a smile for everyone and, according to Click On Detroit, “holds the record for most vehicles processed in an hour, resulting in 489 sets of wheels crossing the Straits of Mackinac.”
Pat made thousands of friendly acquaintances throughout those thirty years with his friendly welcoming smile and his “Miigwech Anishinaabe” send off – an Ojibwa term meaning “thank you”.
Saturday May 20 2023 was his very last day on the job. Pat is now looking forward to using his new canoe.....He told a reporter recently, “thirty years on my legs, takes their toll on the toll collector”. The regular daily bridge commuters will miss him, as will the annual vacationers. But he hopes when you see him walking down the road or street, you'll honk, smile and wave.
Pat Rickley, 30-Year Toll Booth Operator at Mackinac Bridge
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