Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tony's taxi tales

In the early 1970’s while attending college in New York City, part-time drove a New York City taxi in Manhattan. The type of cab was one of those large Checker Cab. Checker Taxis were produced by the Checker Motors Corporation of Kalamazoo, Michigan. 1982 was the last year they produced these vehicles.

Driving a taxi in Manhattan part-time for about six months proved interesting. Turning down 5th Avenue from 42nd street, to be stopped for an illegal turn. Being stiffed by a foreign passenger who ducked into Grand Central Station. Arguing with a motorist who slammed his car door into my moving cab. Driving a passenger from Manhattan to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), in the borough of Queens on a rainy night (“the night was dark as usual”).

Back then one had to have a “hack” license issued by the City of New York to drive a taxi. Attending a day’s orientation / class, ending with a geography class concerning the New York City area. I only drove for about six months, because this was New York City before Mayor Rudy Giuliani (mayor from 1994 to 2001). It was getting dangerous for cab drivers in New York, thus the exit from the career part time job.

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