Bridges still on the brain

I have recently learned the word “Timmie”, meaning a person who is afraid of bridges. I know such people exist. I worked with a woman who even avoided short foot bridges like in urban parks. I mean STURDY ones with high thick railings, not flimsy-looking ones like the photo MMCB2 sent from her trip to an African country. It looked like it might sway and whatever was below seemed like a long way down. I said, “Tell me you didn’t cross that.” Yes. She did. I didn’t press her but next time we meet for zoom coffee, I’ll get the story.

The Big Mac (and a lot of other large bridges) offers a driving service for “Timmies”. Someone will drive you across the bridge in your car. You can sit there and white knuckle it with your eyes wide open or you can hide under a blanket or lie down on the floor in the back seat. No judgment. We all have our phobias and I live with a PARTICULARLY STUPID one so I take other people’s phobias seriously and don’t tease or poke at them.

I am not a Timmie (with one big-time exception). The Big Mac has always been exciting for me. And I have driven it in all kinds of conditions. High winds. Snowstorms. In a crappy old Ford Pinto wagon no less. Oh, not that a snowstorm in a Pinto is exciting. Actually it was pretty darn nerve-racking but I always managed.

The one big-time exception? The Sunshine Skyway Bridge, St. Petersburg to Bradenton, where my parents-in-law lived. We drove down there in 1986, us and our toddler and The Beautiful Suzie, my sister-in-law (miss her so much). The Sunshine Skyway had been two bridges with one-way traffic on each. One of them was hit by a freighter in 1980 (I just looked that up) and collapsed. Multiple cars and a Greyhound bus fell off the bridge and 35 people died. They kept the other bridge open, routing two-way traffic onto it as they began building a new bridge.

I hadn’t been worried about crossing that bridge. Heck it’ll be like the Mackinac. Roight? So I thought. Not all bridges are alike. We were up top at a near standstill with cars everywhere. Traffic jam both directions. I was terrified (the GG was driving). It seemed so flimsy. They were building the new bridge at the time and on subsequent trips to Fla, we drove it and I was fine. Interestingly, they have left parts of the old bridge’s approaches as fishing piers.

Frooog photo credit to mouse.

One Response to “Bridges still on the brain”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I’m not particularly scared of bridges although I don’t like heights, so driving over the Narrows Bridges can be scary.