Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 52 > Page 77 - Charlie MacDonald, Taxicab Driver

Page 77 - Charlie MacDonald, Taxicab Driver

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/8/1 (164 reads)

lie, it's 3 o'clock. You'd better go." I'd tell him. There was no such a thing as company. No, each man had his own car. (Oh, so you just put yourself in business.) I just went there in '31 with a '27 Chev, and a year later I got a '29 Buick. And I had it from '32 to '35, I got a new Dodge. (What made you decide to become a cab driver?) Well, I was driving a truck. No license. At British Metals, Loch Lomond-- the year of the earthquake (1929). And then they went bankrupt. So the councillor up there, he said, "Here, Charlie, go down and go to work on the Big Pond highway. All your buddies are there." And when (that ended) I came in with the truck, I turned it over to the fellow that owned it. And I said, "No more work, is there?" "No more work, Char? lie." "Well, well, well." "Well, I'll tell you, Charlie You're going to hang around? You're not going out home to Mira for the winter?" "Well, I'd like to go out for a few days, see Mother." I know I was in and out quite often, with seeing her. So, "Bert Sampson (in Sydney), he wants a man. He had a hell of a row with the two men yes? terday. He said they were drinking, and they weren't opening up when they should." (What kind of a business was that?) White Rose Service Sta? tion, where the muffler shop is on George Street (today). I went up to see him. "God," he said, "Charlie, go help that fellow with gas," he said. "You're hired!" All right. The manager of the hotel kept his car there. The president, Jim McConnell, kept his car there. Well, I used to look after their car--I liked looking after cars. I looked after them and kept them clean. And always had them warm when they'd be coming for them. I used to drive Mr. McConnell up home, to Whitney Avenue. That's where he lived --he had a mansion up there. And take his car back. You know, in the morning he'd call up, he'd say, "Charlie, have you got time to run up and get me? When you can, come up." I went up on March the 11th, opened up at 7. And just as I was opening up, the phone was ringing. I said, "Sampson's Service Station." "Never mind with Samp? son!" he said. "This is Joe Cole, manager of the hotel. Take that '27 Studebaker there," he said, "and come up here. You're going to be our cab driver." I said, "What?" "You heard what I said," Joe said. "Go home and change clothes and come up here. Be up here at 8 o'clock." That's when I started driving cab. I got up there. And I usually got a little bite in the all-night restaurant up there. He was the first man in Sydney that sold hot dogs. But I'd have to wait till I got a chance to come up from George Street to Charlotte to get--by Miles' old store, he had a restaurant there. (Who was that?) I forget his name. First man in Sydney to sell a hot dog. When he'd see you coming in, he knew you were going to get a hot dog--IOC. He had-- Now see all Atlantic Canada in one vaa'j Air Fare At Ground Cost' Imagine seeing all of Atlantic Canada in one vacation... from St. John's to Halifax... Goose Bay to Moncton... Charlottetown to Gander. Where you want... when you want. It's easy, with Atlantic Canadapass... a special book of 3, 4, 5 or 6 one-way tickets to any of Air Nova/Air Canada's 13 cities in all 4 Atlantic provinces. ''''Air Fares W' Up to 60% off! Number of Cities 3 4 5 6 apply... consult Child Fare: 2 to Adult Fare $249 00 $299 00 $349 00 $399 00 Child Fare $219.00 $259.00 $299.00 $349.00 Taxes extra. Conditions our travel agent for details. See all Atlantic Canada with Atlantic Canadapass... and save up to 60% off average one-way fares. Fly and arrive relaxed, and refreshed... ready to enjoy your holiday Plus, Atlantic Canadapass' special youth fares make it easy to travel with the whole family Call Air Nova/Air Canada Reservations... or, ask your travel agent for the Canadapass magazine... your guide to low-cost accommodation, car rental and tour packages in Atlantic Canada.
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