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Monday, July 25, 2016

Tappan Zee

There was a crane accident last week on the Tappan Zee bridge.  It spans the Hudson River between Rockland County and Westchester County in New York.

It brought back awful memories.

As a kid, I was on the Tappan Zee all the time.  My mom's family had relatives in Bridgeport, CT.  The interstate highway system wasn't complete, so you had to take the Tappan Zee to get there.  It was three miles of terror.  I'd keep my eyes closed for the entire journey across the Hudson.

I don't have many phobias.  Long bridges over big water is one of them.  It's not paralyzing.  I've driven many Hudson crossings over the years.  I've been on those big bridges in Baltimore and Annapolis.   I'll do it, but I don't like it.

While I liked my Aunt Mary and Uncle Al, the trip to get there was always taxing.  In retrospect, it didn't take all that long to get there, but it always seems longer when you're a kid trapped in a car.  On top of that, Bridgeport was not a pretty place.  It wasn't a safe place.  I can still remember walking up all those steps in their Pembroke Street apartment building.  Grey paint.  Park in the back.

I read why the Tappan Zee was built at one of the widest points of the Hudson.  Governor Dewey wanted it far enough away from New York City so the state would keep all the tolls, not the Port Authority.  Thank you, Governor Dewey.