Iconic Mackinac Bridge toll attendant to retire after 3 decades

Published: May. 18, 2023 at 3:26 PM EDT
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ST. IGNACE, Mich. (WWTV) - Pat Rickley has been an icon at the Mackinac Bridge for three decades.

The 59-year-old man is a toll attendant with such a charismatic personality that once you meet him, it’s hard to forget him.

This coming Saturday will be his last day at the Mackinac Bridge as he heads toward retirement. He’s spent the last three decades collecting tolls and handing out plenty of laughs and smiles.

“I used to not look at people. Then I learned to look at people and talk to people. That was my job. And of course, take their money. I just throw a little bit of this and that in there, to brighten their day,” said Rickley.

Unforgettable one-liners have turned him into a bridge icon.

“Somebody will throw something at you and makes you giggle. I can tell you some stories, but they aren’t fit for TV,” joked Rickley.

Rickley is now calling it a career.

“I just enjoy the people. That is why you are here in the first place. Thirty years on my legs, takes their toll on the toll collector,” said Rickley.

But not before a few more tolls, laughs and smiles.

“And if you see me on the side of the road walking, honk your horn and wave at me buddy,” Rickley told one driver.