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People Top 5
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- August 04, 1997
- Vol. 48
- No. 5
Making Her Day
A Tolltaker with a Big Heart Gives a Bride in Distress Ten for the Road
Walter Jeffries was just kidding, but McCombs, 26, was too rattled to notice. "I just lost it," she recalls. "I was sobbing." Startled, Jeffries, 66, a former tavern owner who has worked the Union Plaza tollbooth since 1991, asked what was wrong. When McCombs told him, he reached into his wallet and pulled out a $10 bill. "Take this," he said, "and go."
That small gesture not only bailed out McCombs, it sent her off to a "perfect" wedding to press operator Kent Parnau, 32. "I felt better immediately," says McCombs, a sales assistant at an L.A. printing company. "I felt at peace." Jeffries says he was only treating her as he would his two grown daughters, and Jeffries's boss, Jocelyn Rodenbeck-Honan, reveals a fact that suggests Heather might someday consider a second trip through New Jersey: Other tolltakers have helped deliver babies.
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