Big Mac anniversary

It was an NPR Driveway Moment for npJane but not for me so I was blissfully disentangling complicated pieces of online banking functionality until about mid-afternoon when she texted me that the Mackinac Bridge opened (uh) 60 years ago today. Okay. I (uh) REMEMBER when the Mackinac Bridge opened. My family drove the 50 miles or whatever from Sault Ste. Siberia to cross the Mackinac Bridge on the first day it opened and I have a card to prove it. You may also note that the hand-writing on that card was my mother’s, meaning that they were just handing out cards for people to fill out later.

The Mackinac Bridge was very important to my family because it shortened the trip across the Straits of Mackinac Michigan’s to maybe 10 minues instead of the one or two or umpteen gazillion many hours it took when we used to have to take a *ferry* to get across the straits to the Lower Peninsula to visit my mom’s family down in southern Trollandia. I think I am strong enough tonight to tell you that I *remember* those ferries, at least vaguely. I remember my mom getting me dressed at something like 3:00 AM In Sault Ste. Siberia so we could get to the earliest ferry. I remember this as “When we go to Detroit in the middle of the night.” We would park our car on the ferry and walk upstairs and my dad would always walk outside with me and he would put his hands in his jacket pockets and so would I! I have vague memories of driving down the old two-lane highways that we nowadays drive for fun to get off the I75 SUV freeway for a while. I don’t remember getting on or off the ferry at all.

When the Big Mac was still under construction, my parents would often take me in our old Black Ford down to St. Ignace, where we could watch the bridge construction. I vaguely remember these picnics. I’m not sure if my brother was on the way in this pic or not. I look like I might be about three so maybe he was… … …

And finally, I searched and searched for the next photo which is taken from a small plane while the Big Mac was being built. I know (from other photos) that my Granddaddy was also in the plane for this photo. I’m not sure who took the pic or was flying the plane. My dad could’ve been flying but it might also have been his friend Sandy Sanderson. Anyway, here is the Mackinac Bridge in progress from a light plane (Cessna maybe?) in the air.

I have been across this bridge umpteen gazillion times since it was built. May it last forever!

One Response to “Big Mac anniversary”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Great history of the bridge! It makes me wonder how people used to cross from Tacoma to Gig Harbor before the Narrows Bridge. It must have been by boat.

  2. Pooh Says:

    We’re studying bridges and building paper bridges in 3rd Grade Science right now. Thanks for your memories of this one being built!