Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 52 > Page 82 - Charlie MacDonald, Taxicab Driver

Page 82 - Charlie MacDonald, Taxicab Driver

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/8/1 (135 reads)

would just put them away for the winter.) From November to April. That's how I drove John Buchanan's father and mother and him, and his brother, to church, two winters, after they moved in from Glace Bay to Park Street, down to St. Andrews Church, I picked them up in time to have them down at St. Andrews Church at 11 o'clock. Then be there when church would come out, and take them back. I did that two winters. Every? body then jacked up their car, took the battery out of it, drained the gas out of her, and wouldn't take her out until April. But Jim McConnell and Joe Cole, they kept their cars downtown. You see, down at the service station. That's how I used to look after them. And then they'd jig around from there, what little they'd do. To me, when I was in the service station from November to March, they were only in the way. But I used to clean them, because I knew they were bigshots, and they were paying so much a week for keeping their car there in the night. And I used to look after them good. 1937, Air Canada--Trans-Canada Airlines it was then. First flight in, I met it. That's when I got the contract, looking after the passengers. (What does that mean?) I was at the hotel in '37. And this fellow came in, bigshot. BEACH HOMES MOTEL CHALETS P. O. Box 177, INGONISH BEACH, N. S. BOC 1L0 (902) 285-2525 They flew in, see--private plane. Just 7 passengers then. And I got the call to go to the airport and meet them. I knew Air Canada was coming in on the 14th of Febru? ary. And I said to the clerk at the hotel, "I bet you it's somebody connected with Air Canada, because they're going to open up the first flight, Moncton to Sydney, on the 14th--Valentine's Day--February." So anyhow, I go out. And sure enough. I met two gentlemen. The little plane they took in from Moncton. the pilot took the plane back, left them here. Well. I didn't know that. So when I got to the airport-- it was the old airport then. Not even re? modelled for wartime. (Where was it locat? ed?) Same place. Oh, yeah. yeah. Yeah. I drove Col. Oland. Col. Simpson. Col. An? nan, and another fellow. I forget his name. They started in '36, coming down here and reorganizing and surveying. It was in '37 they were on the surveying of it. No runways or nothing. But there was a little runway, a dirt one. So they'd come in on that with a little 7-passenger.... So, they got in the car, and they said--I had the limousine, a nice limousine--the hotel, you know, the (train) station, and driving the bigshots. So they said, "We're going to the Isle Royale Hotel, driver." And so forth. So, coming in, a dirt road, you know. I was going over bumps. One fel? low said--they were way back, you know, and she was a 3-seater. you know--two jumps in the front. And he said, "You drive for the Isle Royale Hotel?" I said, "Yes, sir, I do." And, "This your limou? sine?" I said, "Yes, sir." "Well, isn't that great," the other fellow said. "We'll give him the mail contract, and the pas? senger contract. And he'll meet, take us out here"--for the first flight. God, that's what I did. Took them out-- took a couple of bigshots out. And there were two passengers coming in on it. IVl'ary Browifs FHed Chicken. King Street Weiton Street Kings Road Sydney River North Sydney EAT IN & DRIVE THRU & HOME DELIVERY 794-4410 5 Minutes from Marine Atlantic Whari! Sydney EAT IN & DRIVE THRU & HOME DELIVERY 562-8200 & HOME DELIVERY 562-0739 Maiy Blown has the best l's in towiL Need a Radiator? Muffler? Shocks? Brakes? RAD-PRO Specializing in Radiator Repair & Recores Heaters Water Pumps, Etc. TWO LOCATIONS: Sydney [ 349 George St. - Downtown ' AND Port Hawkesbury Maclnnes Road at Specializing in Mufflers Brakes 'MASTER MUFFLER ISrlngl 'laUiJd' Sydney: 562-2300 • Port Hawkesbury: 625-3781 Port Hawkesbury Centre Sydney: 539-6691 • Port Hawkesbury: 625-3781 82
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