Linda King, Toll Taker

The Wabash Memorial Bridge spans the Wabash River just above its confluence with the Ohio River in southwestern Indiana. It was dedicated in 1956.  I crossed at 4.54 a.m. on Labor Day, while en route from Evansville to Du Quoin, Illinois. The toll was 50 cents. Linda King took the coins and handed me a receipt. She had worked at the bridge for a little over thirteen years. She works a swing shift and has midnights a third of the time. She said that in the middle of the night sometimes just one car per hour arrives at the tollbooth, other times maybe six. The job can get a little boring. When I told her I was going to the Du Quoin State Fair, in Illinois, she recalled being there as a kid. She specifically remembered the prize bull being led along by a ring in its nose. The overpowering image had always stayed with her. Before driving away I asked to take her picture and afterward showed her the image on the camera’s LCD monitor. “That’s me,” she said.

 

Du Quoin 001

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