Sometime this morning a Farwest Taxi driver was murdered while carrying a passenger in Burien at the approximate location of South 140th Street & 8th Avenue South. The details are at this point murky but it appears that the driver somehow got in the middle of some type of domestic dispute or argument. Given that we are approaching the August Blue Moon, I advise all of my fellow cabbies to be especially careful for the next few days. Any veteran driver knows without any doubt that domestic flare-ups are the MOST dangerous of situations. I have more than once cautiously intervened when the arguments have grown heated to the point of spontaneous combustion. As more information becomes available I will share it immediately. I have been continuously checking all the local news websites but nothing so far. My sister did hear a short report on the shooting while listening to KUOW, the local NPR radio station. She was kind enough to immediately call and tell me what she knew. This is our first local murder since about 2007, with the last incident occurring in a residential section of the City of Sea-Tac. The killer was immediately apprehended and is spending the rest of his life in prison. I always think back to the bad old days of the late 1980s when NYC averaged 50 or more dead cabbies annually. Thankfully their death toll has dramatically fallen to only a few a year. We in Seattle are quite fortunate that are biggest challenge is stupidity and little else.
Yesterday morning I got up early and met with David C., a member of something called the "Seattle Solidarity Network" which is an organisation fighting to protect the disadvantaged and abused and under represented. David had read my blog and for months we have been trying to meet up. Why it reminded me of my own youth and how I faced the world then. Come to think about it, unlike someone like Milt Romney who changes like the wind, I have remained reasonably consistent. Some might say I have never grown up. I suppose, like Alice Copper, I will forever be eighteen, "and I like it, like it, yes I do!" Check out their website: www.seasol.net. Their business card proclaims "Don't Fight Alone!" Sounds good to me. Boy did I ever feel alone when the gang of drunken cowboys were chasing me down the streets of Bennett, Colorado Spring 1970. Nothing like a bunch of misguided fools to force you to make a stand and decide which side you are on. Good to see that the 60s spirit is alive and simmering in mundane and totally asleep Seattle!
Frank Morgan Wake
Frank was found peacefully dead relaxing in his recliner so it seems his death was sudden and completely unexpected. The irony was that he had gotten a radiant health report from his doctor just this past Friday. Frank had been dealing with various complications related to diabetes. For those interested in attending, a wake/memorial will be held at the Reservoir Tavern, 8509 Roosevelt Way at 4:00 PM Saturday September 8th. Frank loved bars and taverns, in fact having met his longtime partner Lynn at the Two Bells. Though working I will be making a brief appearance bidding my friend goodbye.
Scott Gutierrez, the Transportation reporter at PI.Com sent me the link to the Associated Press article concerning the Farwest murder. Thank you, Scott! It turns out that the incident occurred on Tuesday evening about 6:00 PM, not on Wednesday as I had earlier stated. As the passenger, a young girl left the taxi a man identified as her father drove up and shot and killed the cabbie. As details are released, I will report them here.