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> Issue 52 > Page 85 - Charlie MacDonald, Taxicab Driver

Page 85 - Charlie MacDonald, Taxicab Driver

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/8/1 (138 reads)

coming on the plane. You got a special-- they'd put you on before they'd put an av? erage person, if you were on the funeral. They had a little different laws in the '40s and the '30s, you know.... (Were there times when your cab was used as a kind of ambulance, either to get the doc? tor out there or to get the patient in?) Very little of that. The planes were so small. (Oh, I don't mean for the planes. I meant for you as a cab, to get people to the hospital. Was there a hospital?) Oh yes, there was City Hospital and Ross Hos? pital. But I picked up--oh yeah, I had to take a doctor out, when Newfoundland wasn't with Canada. I had to have one limousine: doctor, custom, immigration, mounted po? lice, and mail or whatever it was--it all went on that limousine. But after Newfound? land came with Canada, that was all done away with. (Oh, they were all to meet the passengers coming into the country.) Check? ing them, when they got off. Yeah, yeah. Then that limousine would take them back in again. Well, that was paid by Trans-Canada Airlines. That was all credit--they didn't pay anything of that. (You often hear stories, though, of babies being born in a taxicab, that kind of thing.) Oh, I had three. Coming in from Loch Lomond. Coming in from Marion Bridge. Coming in from South Bar. Yeah, three. The one on Marion Bridge, the Mountie was chasing me. But I didn't stop. He was be? hind me, he couldn't get by me--narrow road. He was even blowing. I kept her go? ing till I got into St. Rita Hospital am? bulance. He came over. I said, "You got a job, boss! Help me with this mother and child!" (Was the baby born on the way?) Oh, yeah, born on the way. Yeah, I hit a couple bumps! "Oh," she said, "that took a lot of pain away." Oh, the woman was hon? est about it, yeah. I'd hit, you know, a gutter or where the water went across. See, I was trying to make time. "Oh! That helped me, driver, that helped me!" And the other one coming in from Loch Lo? mond. Well, it was a time call. And I had to be out there at 12 o'clock. At Loch Lo? mond. I left and got out there. I knew the road that way because I drove truck out there. I knew the shortcuts and every? thing. So I got out. Taxi job, you know. And here was the father, when he saw the car lights probably two miles away, you know, glittering in the night. Him and three children brought the mother down on a sleigh from the house up in the field, and loaded her in the cab. And blankets and everything. And he said, "I'll drive into Sydney tomorrow," he said. "The chil- . dren and I, to see you at the hospital." "Now," she said, "I don't know, driver, if you should go Grand Mira, or go down Loch Lomond hill and come in Big Pond." "Well," I said, "North Grand Mira is the best road." "Yeah, but I don't think I can have that much time." She said, "You better try Loch Lomond hill." That's a three-mile hill, you know, all down grade. So, my God, I started down with her, you know, and she was doing all right. I hit a few bumps. "Oh," she said, "I'm afraid you're going to be in difficulty." So. "Well," I said, "the hotel at the bottom of Loch Lomond," I said, "we can stop there. If you want a drink or want blan? kets or something." "I've got plenty of blankets, and I don't need a drink." I meant tea--no coffee then. So, by God, I got down, and I could see Big Pond and the ice, you know. I made the turn at the hotel. "Oh," she said, "you're on Big Pond highway! Now, give it to her!" Coming in Ben Eoin, she said, "We're too late, driver. I made a little mess in your car, but I'll look after it." So, by God, got her into the hospital. There was no Mountie chasing me that time. Leather Works by John C. Roberts Historic Reproductions I Creative Handcrafts * MORE THAN LEATHER * INDIAN BROOK Open Daily 9 - 5 CAPE BRETON ISLAND BOC 1 HO '''V ' ' October 9 Between Baddeck & Ingonish or by appointment On the Cabot Trail (902) 929-2414 Wayne Weatherbee, Director SHOULD YOU PRE-ARRANGE ??@ (LO [Hi FUNERAL? Today, more than ever before, people are thinking and doing something about the future. Among those concerns for the future is the matter of their plans for their funeral. Sydney Memorial Chapel Ltd. respectfully suggests that it is a good idea to visit your Funeral Director, and together talk these matters over quietly and calmly. He can help you with information as to the different services and their costs, and then he will confirm your arrangements in writing so that your family will know what you want. Sydnet' ?temoriaD Chapel LtcC. 49 Welton Street, Si'cCnei' A Non-Denominational Funeral Chapel 539-0500
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