Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Greeting From Toledo, Ohio (actually Rossford) & Mass Grave of Taxi Drivers in Iraq

Left Chicago on Monday, arriving Detroit almost 9 PM because flying standby is only for the patient.  Spending ten hours at any airport, be it O'Hare or any other is something I will attempt to avoid in the future.  Once in Detroit it was a 45 minute drive more or less down to Toledo.  Toledo, my parents and siblings (& cousins & everyone else) birthplace is located on Lake Erie and where my father first drove taxi.  His second stint was in Denver, Colorado.  I am writing this from the Rossford, Ohio public library, a wonderful and friendly place.

I did not take a taxi in Chicago, finding the "L" the best way to get around, though of course I did watch my brethren operate.  Driving taxi in a "real" city is of course entirely a whole other kind of taxi story.  In Chicago the drivers appear of be mostly Africian, and not necessarily from the Horn of Africa like is true in Seattle.  What a life for these folks, driving the mean and down & dirty streets of very ubran Chicago.

A most distrubing piece of news is to be found in the Monday (9/12/11) edition of the New York Times.  A mass grave containing the bodies of 40 Iraqi taxi drivers were found in a rural area.  Another city has 35 missing cabbies.  The story behind the 40 murdered drivers is that members of a large criminal gang took taxis as passengers out to the countryside only to have the driver ambushed and killed, the goal being the shiny new taxi.  I will investigate further and let everyone know the details of this awful story.  Like I always say, taxi drivers are considered public property, meaning anything can and will be done concerning them.  What a reality!

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