Monday, August 27, 2012

Frank Morgan RIP

All concerns diminish when news like this is received.  My old friend and taxi colleague and collaborator Frank Morgan was found dead this morning.  I have no other details.  Frank provided the artwork for my last book and through the years created some truly wonderful posters for various readings.  I was looking forward to future pairings, hoping to one day facilitate the broad recognition his artwork deserved.  One of his paintings appeared in the  recent show of my modest art collection.  He will be sorely missed, both by me and Yellow's Hopelink office where his computer wizardry continually saved the taxi day.  Frank retired from actual driving after a young man shot a revolver off inches from his head, permanently deafening one ear.  He was representative of a now bygone taxi era where artists and college students populated the industry as they transitioned from the top light to other careers and ambitions.  It is difficult to have such a talented friend disappear this suddenly.  He will be both mourned and missed.

Other topics:

She who can't be named felt that I didn't fully communicate the temerity I know too well in relation to misbehaving customers, that I didn't convey accurately their insulting behavior, at least to the extent that I feel and comprehend.  Rereading the posting and making a few textual alterations, other than being written in an exhausted state I felt I conveyed my trauma and angst.  If anything there was too much detail about the "route bully."  This weekend the worst incident were these silly youngsters who were offended when instead of playing the radio I suggested that they provide their own "background music."   It appears that they were on controlled substances and in their exaggerated state fled the taxi all because I suggested that they endure a few minutes of silence.  I did insist that they pay me the five dollars owed.  How would they react if they were legitimately threatened?  One can only wonder and shake the head.

Though all of us Seattle-area cabbies love the amazing business generated by the over two hundred cruise ship visits annually docking at Piers 66 and 91, an unfortunate byproduct is the industry's habit of burning bunker fuel, which is the very dirty residual from diesel, jet fuel and gasoline refining.  Anything to save a buck and the cruise ship industry is fighting tighter regulation.  High levels of heavy metals, sulfur and ash emitted from the ship's stacks have been linked to asthma, crib deaths and various lung-related abnormalities.  Is a few dollars in local pockets truly worth the poisoning of tens of thousands?  Evidently.

I have heard credible rumor that the Teamster connected effort to organize Seattle cabbies is dying upon the taxi vine.  No one other than the airport Yellows have signed up and they too are losing interest.  I could have told Leonard that taxi drivers are impossible to work with.  I suppose it is better to learn by personal experience guaranteeing that it will remain imprinted upon the resistant mind.  Taxi drivers are prone to personal implosion.  All those hours behind the wheel makes you emotional. This situation it appears speaks to that.  I told Leonard that he and his Teamster friends knew little about the industry.  Glad to see that they are learning what I and others already know.

Within the past month Yellow drivers have twice engaged in fisticuffs with each other, including an incident upon the DT Sheraton stand.  Maybe we can make it into a reality TV show and have refereed matches.  Wouldn't that be fun!

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