A big thank you to everyone who has been making this blog a success by your active participation. One reader from Houston, J. a long time taxi driver with over 23 years beneath the top-light under his taxi belt, came up to the Great Northwest to view the local taxi scene. He once owned six cabs in Los Angeles/ Santa Monica and now is running a van in Houston. A father of two young children he is seeking a healthier environment for his kids. He fell in love with Seattle, comparing it to Vienna (Wien) and Paris, two cities I have been to a number of times. He like so many others loves the surrounding mountains and the perpetual green. But as I warned him, scenery does not make the city, attempting to leaven his enthusiasm with mundane reality. We all know about that first kiss, coloring the day, brightening the night.
I personally introduced him to Tacoma Yellow, meeting with Belai the company president. We also took the time to talk to that ultimate local taxi guru, my friend Stacy, who regaled us with tales from the taxi past. J. also went down to Seattle and talked to my friends in the superintendent's office. I was somewhat amused as he gushed over all the business he saw at Sea-Tac and the Saturday night business explosion all over Capital Hill.
Saturday business in part was fueled by this huge "motor-cross" event at Seahawk stadium, 30-40 thousand fans watching motorcycles roar through the night. No doubt it was a good weekend, yesterday having two big airport trips, $70.00 & $80.00 Sea-Tac runs, with a $65.00 airport fare late Saturday night. Yes we still have business despite the thieving for-hires and limos. J. did notice how local passengers treat the for-hire cars just like taxis, without hesitation entering their cars. Hey, if a complete stranger can see what is going on, then why is it taking the City of Seattle so long to take action? Sorry for being rhetorical because all of us cabbies do know why. We are past guessing.
J. is in most ways far more the taxi driver than I am. He is invested in the industry as I am truly only an interloper. Despite my too many years I remain on the periphery. He was still taking calls from regular customers back in Los Angeles, arranging airport runs. His father was a lifetime long taxi driver back home in Columbia. Like my father I am the reluctant dabbler. He invited me to Houston for barbecue. Perhaps some day I will head in that direction.
An earlier Sunday airport trip became a series of coincidences when I mentioned the name of someone I knew from the Tea house, amazingly turning out I had in the cab one of Luke's geography mentors from his University of Minnesota doctorate program. They had dinner together the night before. The professor is a truly gracious person, saying that Luke is working too hard which is true. This is what happens when you are focused upon a goal like he is. He is making it happen, manifesting his desired outcome.
The conversation led to me mentioning the area I visited in March 2011, Transnistria, or as they like to call themselves, the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic. I stayed two nights in the capital of Tiraspol. Being the modest world traveller I enjoyed that this tenured individual had not heard of that obscure breakaway country nestled between the Dniester River to the west and the Ukrainian border to the east. I even took a taxi in Tiraspol. Now how many people can say that? If only Sally Clark would now seek my opinion as a taxi consumer. I have done a few assorted miles as a paying customer. One might say I know the taxi territory from many angles. Is anyone out there paying attention?
New General Manager
Puget Sound Dispatch has hired a new GM, someone, as far as I know minus industry experience. Rumor has it Wednesday is his first day. I wish him well and hopefully he will hit the taxi terrain running. It will be an interesting few weeks as everyone adjusts.
Per his request, no memorial was held for Frank Dogwilla. We wish his family well.