Tuesday, June 27, 2023

I No Longer Have The Temperament To Drive Taxi Or Uber & Chaos On The Homeless Advisory Board & The All-Star Game And New MLB Mariner's Ride-Share Lot & Idiot Passenger Shoots Uber Driver In The Head

 Seattle's  Inane Driving Style is Now Beyond My Ordinary Tolerance 

This past Gay Pride Sunday, June 25th, needing "grocery money," I drove a more or less day-long Uber shift.  For the most part, it was easy money, essentially following the "money trail," taxi and Uber sharing basic traits, knowing where the "action is" a sure fire way of ringing up the dollar bills.   But despite the money raining down upon my head on a sunny day, Seattle's dumbbell drivers were making me "nuts," seemingly never having learned how to swiftly proceed down a city street, not comprehending what "sharing the road" actually means when encountering congested roadways.   

Working the P-69 Victoria Clipper, I was continually frustrated trying to get back to the surging crowd coming off the boat, two short fares allowing me time to come back for a third trip, luckily translating into a great fare, the gentleman heading south in what in WE in the business call a "deep Sea-Tac," his destination being the Sea-Tac Sheraton Four Point, a hotel located many blocks south of the airport.  

It wasn't easy fighting my way back to P-69 but obviously worth the effort, fool Seattle drivers notwithstanding, reminding me once again I can't do this any more, because nothing ever changes in Seattle, repetition ad nauseam the City's thematic presentation to the unwary.  To protest is in vain, to fight the BS is to go insane, and continuing the rhyme, guaranteeing you quickly lose your brain. 

"Amateur Hour" Never Works 

It appears that a "peer-based" advisory board designed to help end homelessness in Seattle and King County is on the skids, dysfunctional members making it impossible to get anything done.  A photograph in the Seattle Times said it all, anyone thinking that this particular person featured in the article was a good political choice to decide anything, is naive, delusional and plainly dumb.   

Which brings me back to my days as the Chair(man) of the thankfully defunct Seattle & King County Taxi Advisory Commission, the Seattle City Council, in its profound lack of wisdom, appointing members who more than having never driven a cab, could rarely afford to ride in one, meaning they knew zero to nothing concerning the taxi industry.  It was a joke, which is why I resigned.  Is insanity a new virtue, making one both saintly and wise?  No, believe me, its not, madness is what it is, coherency instead a muted voice amidst all the shouting.

The Uber Driver Died

On June 16th, during an Uber ride in El Paso, Texas, the passenger, Phoebe Copas, shot her driver, Daniel Piedra Garcia in the head after reading a road sign saying "Juarez, Mexico, somehow believing she was being kidnapped.  Of course, if you think you are in trouble, there are many alternatives other than "shoot first, ask questions later."  Most obvious is, if indeed she was being taken to Mexico against her will, they would have faced Mexican Customs, providing ample opportunity to then alert authorities and escape.  Dumbbell passengers, unfortunately, are commonplace but the kind of stupidity displayed by Copas is difficult to fathom.  Garcia died after several days, his family taking him off life support.  Copas remains jailed, now charged with murder, held on a 1.5 million dollar bond. 

Baseball $$$ Days coming to Seattle Second Week in July 2023

Advance alert:  Major League Baseball's All-Star Game is coming to Seattle.  First events begin Friday, July 7th, with three more days of activities leading up to the grand finale on Tuesday, July 11, when the actual game will be played.  There will be plenty of business for everyone.  Also coming is a new Uber, Lyft and taxi Ride-Share lot located on 3rd Avenue South somewhere between S. Massachusetts and Hogate Streets.  Don't know the details or how it will truly function and, most importantly, whether passengers will find their way there but maybe, just maybe it's a good idea.  More details when I know them.


Wednesday, June 21, 2023

The "How Not To Guide" To How To Respond When Thugs Enter The Cab & More Sea-Tac (Port of Seattle) Insult & Crazed Cabbie---Pastor Paul Makenzie & The New Slavery? In Seattle, You Have To Make $40.38 An Hour To Afford An One-Bedroom Apartment & Some Thoughts Concerning The New Juneteenth Federal Holiday

First, You Can Never Be Surprised When Trouble Enters Your Cab 

The following paragraphs were inspired by yet another conversation with the same former Seattle Yellow cabbie I featured last week, this time telling me how he was robbed at gunpoint, shot but luckily, not killed.  His story is an almost step-by-step textbook on how NOT to respond when trouble approaches your cab.  And this is the major lesson here: you have to know, understand what kind of person is entering your cab, making it far too late once you have started off, and suddenly, all hell! is breaking out, and find yourself in deep trouble.

As I have said in past blog posts, the awake cabbie must first be a psychologist when assessing your passengers.  Any and all behaviors should be expected.  Thugs, crooks and ruffians are too obvious in their behaviors to not notice these guys are potential trouble.  My most helpful piece of advise is, upon sensing that something is wrong, is to give voice to your suspicions.  If you think they are dangerous, tell them that.  If you think they might rob or assault you, don't be shy or overly polite, tell them straight out what you suspect while adding it would be a great mistake if they tried to hurt you.   You are the boss in the cab, not the passenger.  Demand up front payment, and if refused, its the end of the ride.   Remember, you can't negotiate when your life is on the line.  Have no doubt whatsoever, people will kill you minus a second thought.  That is the cold reality of being a cab driver.  Back in the mid-1980s, 50 cabbies a year on average were murdered in New York City.  Playing games with a thug could mean you might die.  It's as simple as that.

His story is that he took a call late in the West Seattle during a time when crack cocaine usage was epidemic, at an intersection near the then notorious High Point neighborhood, an area I even avoided due to its well deserved bad reputation.  His first mistake was letting the two guys into his cab instead of locking his doors while interviewing them through a cracked window.  Then, after letting them enter the cab, he  followed their directions to a darkened, dead end street.  Again, as I have warned previously, NEVER, EVER with questionable passengers, drive to a street with no escape route.

It was then the gun was placed against his head, and after giving the robbers $200.00 he ran, only to be shot in the head, thankfully the bullet only grazing him.  Making this far worse, the Seattle Police officers he later dealt with were dismissive, allowing the assailants never to be charged, even though one of the suspects were known to them.  Yes, armed robbery and attempted murder wasn't enough for SPD to make an arrest.   This is also another unfortunate part of the Seattle taxicab story known too well to those of us working beneath the toplight.  Seattle cops, they hated us.  Why, I don't know but from my many negative interactions with Seattle's finest, it is damn well true, you could not trust or rely upon Seattle's Blue. 

The Port of Seattle Once Again Shows How It Truly Feels About Cab Drivers

Sea-Tac was pressuring owner operators to put on wheelchair vans but even after the extra expense, having no intention of allowing those operators to now work seven days a week at the airport.  This new initiative also caught the attention of the guys currently driving Yellow's WAT vans, with a friend of mine expressing his official displeasure on behalf of his fellow WAT associates.  But all this ruckus was for naught, the Port withdrawing its offer, showing once again their unconcealed disrespect for the cabbies working Sea-Tac.  Uber and Lyft, they can work at the airport 24/7.  Not so the cabbies.  

Trouble in Nigeria 

You might have heard about the cult in Nigeria, where a pastor told his followers that in order to enter heaven and see Jesus, they must starve themselves to death, in this way reaching the promised land.  Hundreds have died.   What most don't know is that before preaching death as the guaranteed path to salvation, Paul McKenzie Nhenge was a cab driver.  Vladimir Putin also once drove a cab in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  Is there some kind of pattern in play here?  But the Nigerian is amateurish in comparison, Putin responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands, and counting.  The big different is that Nhenge is under arrest.  But with Putin, nothing will occur, incurring no accountability whatsoever.  

Is Anyone Working in Seattle Really a Free Human Being?

The answer to that question might be yes, yes if you are making $100.00 plus per hour but less than that, you are probably struggling.  Recent headlines have screamed the news that to afford an one bedroom Seattle apartment, it's necessary to earn $40.38 per hour.  To live in in a two bedroom apartment, $47.21 per hour is required.  To rent an one bedroom apartment you will be paying on average $2,335.00.  For that 2 bedroom, you are looking at $3,132.00.  I see this as a new kind of slavery, wage slavery keeping your nose, as they say, to the grindstone.  Today we were told Seattle's annual inflation rate is 18%, basically the highest in the nation, and scary, nearly equal to San Francisco.  Wasn't the 13th Amendment to the American Constitution passed on December 6th, 1865?  Maybe not.

Monday was Juneteenth Day

For those who don't know, June 19th, 1865 is commemorated because it is the day black slaves in Texas were told they were free, this 2 1/2  years after Lincoln's January 1st, 1863 Emancipation Proclamation freeing all the slaves.   To that point, in 1865, slaves in Texas  didn't know they had been freed.  The 13th Amendment further ratified Lincoln's intentions stated back in 1863.   That American blacks are still fighting for equal protections under American law speaks sadly to our nation's legacy of forced enslavement.   Every black immigrant cabbie in Seattle and elsewhere in the United States will tell you that their personal fight for equality is something they encounter each and everyday in the cab.   

When my friend Pavel was still driving a cab, he was followed onto the West Seattle Bridge by a WSP officer and ticketed.  Why was he stopped?   For not wearing a seatbelt, the sole reason why the officer risked  his own life on the ever precarious West Seattle Bridge, because, more than simply issuing a citation, he was making a statement.   Pavel certainly heard it.  It was because he was black.  There was no other rationale.  It was because Pavel was free and not a slave, feeling entitled to make his own decisions.  

To this day, many still object that blacks are free---can live where they want, work where they want, marry who they want.  Racism is still very much alive in our country, with many still not interested in hearing Lincoln's words written and spoken back in 1863, saying, without equivocation, that all Americans, regardless of their color, are forever freed, never again to be enslaved.  

That's why this holiday is utterly important for you and me and everyone, never wishing to be enslaved anytime in the future.  Though believe me, many, if given the opportunity, would return us to the America that existed before 1861, and be glad of it.  One thing I have learned these 69 years being alive is that some people never learn the lessons history has to teach---ignorance their mouths, foolishness their tongues. 


Wednesday, June 14, 2023

The June First Strike Against Puget Sound Dispatch That Never Was & Corrupt Yellow Cab Dispatch 1992 & Eventually, Dennis Roberts' Ashes Will Be Buried In Columbus Falls, Montana & More Travel

 You Seattle Yellow Cab Drivers Only Have Yourselves to Blame

June 1st was to be the day that Yellow's maligned drivers told Puget Sound Dispatch management to "stuff it," and strike the MV Metro account for three days, protesting those potential $50.00 fines assessed for not living up to MV's Draconian mandates concerning arrival and pickup times.   There are two major problems here, and add another given driver attitude.  

The first is PSD General Manager Amin Shifow's failure to protect the owner operators funding PSD.  I will spare him the harsh commentary he deserves.  From my personal experience, blasting him will not change his behavior.

A second point is the City and County's failure to protect a regulated industry from abuse.  This is not something new but a continuation of bad and shortsighted policy.  But this isn't going to change due to owner operators failure to organize and stand up for their rights, which brings me to driver attitude.  

The strike failed to materialize despite flyers made and nearly a full month to organize because, despite constant complaint, the owner operators have no real interest in defending themselves against despicable PSD and MV Metro behavior.  Like sacrificial lambs, they allow themselves to be led to slaughter, their blood spilled on the seats of their cabs, red, not yellow the color of their taxis. 

A Bad Era at Seattle Yellow Cab

In a conversation with a former Yellow cab owner and driver, he told me how corrupt Yellow's dispatch was in the late 1980s, early 1990s, bribes and feeding the everyday norm.  I believe his story on how he was fed a fare to California carrying a passenger with a large parcel of marijuana all the way to San Jose, a Bay Area city south of San Francisco.  He first stopped at dispatch and paid the dispatcher his bribe, then drove to California, earning $3000.00 for the trip.  This same driver also told me about one of the majority cab owners daily use of prostitutes, something that was an ill concealed secret.  I know that person well. 

And if anyone is still wondering why the demise of the American taxicab industry, I suggest you wake up and smell the gasoline.  Too many selfish assholes being the real reason Uber and Lyft won.   When you don't care, you simply don't, and that, everyone, is the way it was then back in 1992.  Take the money and screw anything and everything else, including hookers!

Dennis Roberts' Mother is Buried in Columbus Falls, Montana

Given the proper space in time, I will be transporting his ashes to be buried next to his mother.  The cost, including headstone, is barely $500.00.  I will have a marker made engraved with a toplight.  Once I am nearing my departure, I will do another "Go Fund Me" effort on his behalf.  Why am I making the effort? Because too many cabbies are just kicked down the road, that's why.   Dennis deserves better and I am ensuring that he is given his proper due.  Unlike too many others who don't, I do care.  Dennis also cared, making him someone deserving a lasting remembrance.  Maybe one day, you too will drop by Columbus Falls and pay your respects to a fallen (taken by Covid-19) driver.  I certainly hope so.

Drive Highway 395 in Oregon

Beautiful roadway!  Fourth night out I camped off of 395, taking Forest Road 15 to the Wickiup Campground located next to Canyon Creek, quietly nestled in the Fremont-Winema National Forest.  I had the camp entirely to myself.

Also, in the same general area, off Oregon Route 31, and just a few miles outside of Paisley, is the Chewaucan Crossing Campground, located just above the Chewaucan River and in the Malheur National Forest.  I have camped there 3 times.  Great area.  And the river is wonderful. 

Take the time to get out and explore!  It is worth your time.


Saturday, June 10, 2023

21 Days On The Road---May 19th-June 8th---Nearly 5000 Miles (4,764) To New Mexico And Back & Gandhi, The British Empire, Former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray And Uber & A Taxi Flashback To The Past---A Real Taxi Story Penned By The late Dennis Roberts

I Am Tired

For those wondering where my weekly blog posts went, they journeyed down to San Lorenzo, New Mexico and then back again to the good old Northwest and car-clogged Seattle.   Normally my computer travels with me but this time I had it in the shop getting a good cleaning, wiping out those troublesome computer viruses.   One plus is that I didn't have to worry about some fool stealing the computer, allowing me some helpful peace-of-mind, not having to carry the computer on my back whenever I exited my car.

More or less I did a big circle, taking me to eastern Washington and the Quincy Lakes, then down into eastern Oregon through John Day country, and from there to the NE corner of California and Surprise Valley Hot Springs for two nights just outside of Cedarville.  Biggest excitement of that leg of the trip was a visit from a small rattlesnake to my camp in the Quincy Lakes Game Range.  A handful of dirt sent the reptile on its way but about an hour later, while walking on a trail in the backcountry, I came across yet another coiled rattler on a bushy trail, telling me detouring the best option.  Also during my two days there I had the pleasure, on two separate occasions, of crossing paths with two desert marmots, wooly creatures with longish black tails.  In general on this road trip I came across more wildlife than usually expected, thrilled to encounter three pronghorn antelope prancing in eastern Oregon's Hart Mountain Pronghorn Refuge.  On my last night, camping at a very quiet Devil's Flat campground in Oregon's National Umpqua National Forest, a wild turkey came to visit, and in my birding history, a rare sighting in these western United States.  

Leaving Surprise Valley, I took the road leading south out of Cedarville into a desolate, lonely section of northern Nevada, an area beautifully tinted green after recent rainfalls.  My routing took me to what is essentially the east side of Death Valley, and to my delight, just outside of Beatty, Nevada, were three elusive wild burros calmly grazing upon high desert grass.  Sightings of those pesky beasts can be rare, making it a big surprise for the big eared trio to be in such plain view.  Normally, if you get even within a mile of a burro, you should consider yourself very lucky.  They don't like humans, making no secret of their braying distain.   

Once in Arizona, I took the Route 180 turnoff south out of Holbrook, a road taking me down into New Mexico, eventually leading to Silver City, and then 24 miles further east to that speck of a town called San Lorenzo.  After communing nearly four days with my friend, Marty Campbell, I headed back up Route 180,  heading east on I-40 where I eventually slept on the side of the road in the desert a few miles outside of Needles, California.  From there I switched over to westbound Route 58 out of Barstow, stopping to visit my sister's JoAnne's gravesite in Tehachapi, where her friend Kathleen greeted me.  Kathleen was a big help during JoAnne's final months.  Her assistance was greatly appreciated.   

After Tehachapi, I made my way to northbound I-5, heading for my next stop, Mercey Hot Springs, 62964 Little Panoche Road, Firebaugh, CA, 209-826-3388, www.merceyhotsprings.com, where I camped for the night.  Camping, including total access to the hot tubs and swimming pool, is $75.00 per night.  I was fortunate to have been assigned campsite E4, a woodsy shaded site serenaded by local birds including owls.  The hot springs is adjacent to an over 6 mile long trail taking you to dinosaur fossil sites.  And heading northwest a few miles takes you to Pinnacles National Park, a place I visited twice in the early 1980s.  If you like crawling in and around rocks, Pinnaces is the place for you. 

Leaving the hot springs, I returned to I-5 and headed north to Williams and State Route 20, taking me through Clear Lake and onto northbound Highway 101, my destination being Arcata and "she-who-can't-be-named."  Four days there and after various nature outings, I was off again north to where I encountered the turkey and later bad, old Seattle.  In case you are looking for a good place to camp in that part of southern Oregon, take exit 88 off of I-5 and proceed 18 miles east on Cow Creek Road.  If requiring something for breakfast, look for a sign advertising organic chicken eggs for $3.00 a dozen.  Very farm fresh, and delicious.

Stopping in Tacoma for lunch, I met up with my friend Chris at our local favorite, the VK Viet Kitchen Vietnamese restaurant located at 758 S. 38th Street.  A very good place to eat.  I recommend P-12, the Seafood soup, something I always have, requesting vegetarian broth replacing the usual.  

Once back in Seattle it was traffic, traffic, traffic, back to where I don't want to particularly be, where the turkeys are human and the rattlesnakes walk upright shaking their rattles.  No thanks!

Historical Betrayal: Lloyd George and Ed Murray 

Recently, while looking online, I found an October 28th, 2013 Seattle Weekly article quoting me about the upcoming local election, saying that I endorsed both Ed Murray for mayor and Kshama Sawant for the city council.  My reasoning was based upon their pro-taxi statements, with Murray promising to put an end to Uber's nonsense.  As we all know now, both Murray and Sawant were less than honest, their voiced support vanishing upon their election.  

This kind of betrayal is not nice, making me think of the then British Prime Minister Lloyd George's promise back in 1914 to grant India Dominion status or complete independence in response to Mahatma Gandhi's tactic support for Britain's war effort against Germany.   Once victory over Germany was achieved, England reneged on that pledge, instead enacting legislation denying India the liberties it sought, suspending all basic civil rights for all Indians in their own country.  All of this was made worse by the April 13th, 1919 Amritsar massacre, four hundred Indian men, women and children killed by British soldiers.  

Now bringing us back to Seattle and 2014, while yes, no actual blood was shed, it is true that Ed Murray murdered Seattle's taxi industry.  That he was later forced to resign his office was no saving grace.  The deed was done.  Taxi in Seattle, for all useful purposes, was dead and buried. 

Dennis Roberts in Print

Taxi buddy Rick, former owner of Red Top Taxi, sent me this autobiographical story of real taxi as experienced by that late Seattle taxi Ikon, Dennis Roberts, something well representing a bygone taxi era, at least in Seattle, a time and place assigned to memory, never to return.  I wouldn't call Dennis a great singer but once upon the King Street train cab stand, he rang out a tolerable version of that year 1960 C&W hit by Johnny Horton, "North to Alaska."  As many would say, Dennis was "one-of-a kind," and taking that further, "one-of-a-taxi-kind."  There was certainly no one else like him driving cab, an unique cabbie with an unique approach to living.  Good for him.  

And PS:  Sorry about the broken sentences, the computer biting me again.

                                                       Tuneful Taxi by Dennis Roberts (2004)

The call came in early on a Monday morning.

Seattle Yellow Cab's central dispatcher snapped, "I have this all job here, Dennis.  They have papers          to be picked up from the court house, go get signatures, that kind of thing.  Want it?"

"Sure," I replied.  "Work is work."

"Okay, see the lady at Wall Street Brokers.  Corner of Fifth and Wall Street."

It was a nice uptown address.  When I walked into the office, I instantly recognized the look on their          faces.

I'll admit I'm a burly guy, and some people do think I look like a cross between Santa Claus and                biker-bar regular.  And its true that people stare at my shoulder-length hair and Indiana Jones hat.  But I win them over.

"Hi!" I said brightly.  "I'm Dennis Roberts, the singing taxi driver.   I'm here to pick up those papers             at the court house for you."

The lady introduced herself as Lorelei Stevens, President of Wall Street Brokers.  She did a pretty            good job of not staring while she explained her business---buying seller-financed notes. I would be            her courier for some very important deals today.

Then she said I looked like a character actor in the movies.

"Good guess," I said.  I am a character actor.  Ever see the television series "Northern Exposure?"

"Sure," she said.

"I was in several episodes.  Been in others, too.   And I've been a professional Santa Claus during             Christmas season for years."

That went over well.  I could see that Lorelei had decided I was okay for the job, so I asked about the          tasks of the day, where I had to go, what to get, who to see.

"Before we do that, " she said, "are you really a singing cab driver?"


"Sing me a song, then."

I gave her my best Elvis impression with his rendition of Jingle Bells.  The whole office applauded           when I was done.

Then Lorelei mapped out the day's work.

And what a day's work it was.  First I drove to the municipal courthouse, got certified copies of               several judgements Lorelei needed, plus tapes of important testimony.

Then I dropped them off at a lawyer's office and picked up some others, then took them to Lorelei.

Then came the surprise.  Lorelei told me the next stop was a nearby town up north where I would go        to the homes of two ladies, first Glenda and then Katie, who were both selling notes to Wall Street            Brokers. They were elderly and neither could get out of their house for business.   Lorelei explained        that Glenda's note was a first lien and Katie's a second lien, and told me what I needed to do with            each.     

So, I threaded my way through heavy traffic to Glenda's house and knocked on the door with her         papers---and her check---in my hands.  She was very cordial and said Lorelei had called and told her        about me.  She invited me in and to my delight she played the piano for me.  Then she asked me to            sing her a song, and accompanied me in Winter Wonderland.

When the music died away, Glenda thanked me for the song and turned to the business papers.

"Well, everything looks in order," she said.

Glenda then whispered in a conspiratorial tone, "You know, Dennis, I was always taught never to trust anyone when it came to money.  So I have a special favor to ask."

"What's that?"  I wanted to know.

"Take me to the bank so I can make sure Wall Street Brokers' check is good."

I kept from laughing out loud, and said, "Sure.  We have to go there anyway to get the papers notarized, remember?  Come on.  Let me help you to the cab."

At the bank we laid all the papers out on a counter.  "What do I need to sign?"  Glenda asked.

I had all the details fresh in mind---being a cabbie gives you a good memory for details like street names and routes to avoid.  Street smarts.  So I showed her the exact pages where her signature was required.

When she skipped one, I politely turned the page back and said, "This one, too, please."

When all the signatures were done I made sure that all the papers were notarized by a bank official, just as Lorelei had instructed.  I gave Glenda her cashier's check.  She made sure it was good at the teller's cage, and put it in the back.

Then, as we started back to the cab, Glenda said, "Dennis, let me do something for you.  There's a hamburger stand across the street.  Let me buy you a burger.  It's the least I can do for you for your kindness."

That was touching, I thought, so we went over and order burgers.  I got a deluxe, the works.  Glenda got a bare-bones burger and bun, no frills.  I felt a little guilty but ate mine with gusto.

When I dropped her back at hime, Glenda wanted me to sing for her some more but I told her I had another stop to make before the day was done.  

This one was to Katie O'Brien's.  She's very old.  Lorelei had called and told her the singing cab driver would be there, so she was expecting me.  Her grown children lived across the street, and I was supposed to have them come over to have one of them notarize the papers.  So with a house full of people, I sang When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.

Katie signed all the papers and I gave her the money in a cashiers check.  The O'Brien's wanted me to stay and sing some more, but i had to rush to the title insurance company to drop off the papers.  It was a race against time.

When I got there, they sent me to the wrong office.  When I finally got to the right desk, it was just in the nick of time.

I got back to Wall Street Brokers with copies of everything, all the papers signed in the right places.

"Well, you did everything perfectly," exclaimed Lorelei.  "You're good at this."

"Yep," I said, smiling.

We'd both had a lot of fun that day.

That was three months ago.

Since then I've been Lorelei's Wall Street Brokers courier many times.  She took a special interest in me, talked me into getting a notary license so I can do the work myself.  

Every time I see Lorelei, she gives me a personal five-minute lesson about buying notes.  I'm learning a lot.  I may do some note buying myself one day.

Hey, gotta go.  The dispatcher just called me in with another Wall Street Brokers job.

                                                                The End


Yes, "personals," as they are called in the cab business, can be quite lucrative.  A few years back, I had one passenger providing me $2,200 a month for many months.  I finally helped her get signed up with Hopelink, saving her a small fortune.  

Dennis Roberts died from COVID-17 in April 2020.  I took responsibility for his cremation and still have his ashes waiting for burial.  Sometime this year I hope to drive to Montana and bury them next to his parents.  It is the least I can do.