AL COSGROVE, who drives a tow truck for the Triborough Bridge, is a very understanding person. He says so himself. ``I'm very communicable,'' he says. ``I can deal with any kind of people. It's very unique to have that kind of rationality about yourself.'' And to a lot of people whose cars have stalled out in ``Roadway One'' - the fast lane of the Triborough Bridge - Al Cosgrove is a regular knight in shining armor. Al, who has the job title of assistant bridge maintainer, is strong and tough-looking, but he is easy to target as a nice guy. He has a lot of boyish facial hair that doesn't quite make it as a beard, and, although he is black, he has the almond-shaped eyes of an Asian.
Al grew up in Queens (``in the same neighborhood as Bernard King and his brother Albert King'' - both pro basketball players), and now he lives in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. He has been working for the Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Authority, at their main offices on Randalls Island, for 13 years, starting off as a custodian.
``The union and Triborough were kind enough to give me a chance to, you know, pick myself up,'' he said. ``They allowed me to go to school. I went to New York City Technical College for a period of time, and, you know, accumulated enough knowledge to take the test. To get this job it's a pretty hard test you have to pass. It's not about driving trucks; it's on the multitrade skills - carpentry, plumbing, being an electrician, a mechanic. I did a lot of studying, and I passed. I wanted this job.''