Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Turnpike Tolls and a travel story with toll workers.

My sister and her family from the eastern part of the state are in their mini-van heading over the hills to Grandmothers house for our Thanksgiving. When I see her I'll ask for the $12.00 saved in tolls.

The toll takers are on strike today. Everyone gets a free pass. Another free skate is expected again on Sunday for her trip home. Might as well hit her up for $24. I'll keep four quarters in my pocket just to be prepared to make change from her $25 bill.

Would be nice to see our nine members on city council working the toll gates today. Think of today as a way to replenish the 'rainy-day fund' as the PA Turnpike Commission is out $1-million that would have been generated.

How long does the strike need to last before new employees are hired. Or, before we start to slide into the hole regardless of the pay raise? Feel free to do the math and post it here. Or, post it elsewhere and give a pointer here.

Speaking of grandmothers, when mine died about 15 years ago, her childhood neighbors from Dunkirk, NY, came to town for the funeral. Margaret Rauterkus was in her late 80s. She lived as a child in NY and my dad as a boy would often go there in summers. The nice family in NY had heard of her passing, got into the car and drove to Pittsburgh. They drove up to the PA turnpike gate in Monroeville and said, "We're here for the funeral of Margaret Rauterkus."

The PA toll worker knew exactly what to say. She gave the visitors turn by turn instructions of how to get to the funeral home. The toll worker, my little sisters friend, had been to the funeral home the prior night.

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