Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 52 > Page 86 - Charlie MacDonald, Taxicab Driver

Page 86 - Charlie MacDonald, Taxicab Driver

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/8/1 (172 reads)

And the nurses came, you know, and so forth. St. Rita was just new. So they looked after her and everything. A nurse and a floor maid, that washes the floors, you know--they came out, boy, with a buck? et of warm water--it was leather seats then, you know--and washed my car, you know, and everything. She had told me, she said, "Driver, will you come up at 10 o'clock to see me. And I'll tell the nurse to let you in. And I'll give you my baby bonus cheque. And you take it down and cash it, and bring it back to me, and you take what I owe you out of it." Well, I charged her $20. Took it back. By God, she had a bouncing baby boy. The darn thing sitting up looking at me when I went back at 10 o'clock. Tour the world of fine cuisine at George's • Intimate licensed dining room • Home cooked Greek, Italian, Canadian, and Mexican food • Delivery 4 pm • Mon.-Sat. 11 am Sun. 4 pm • Major credit cards 536 George St., Sydney, (across from Centre 200) Take-out & delivery call 539-8066 (You were lucky you didn't have to actu? ally deliver it.) No. I told--no, it seems the shaking in the car. They used to tell me that. Now this woman, I'd hit a bump--"Oh," she said, "that's love? ly. I don't mind you hitting a bump." But then when it was over, she said, "You can take it a little easy." Then the other woman from South Bar, poor soul. I couldn't get . up the hill. It was in wintertime, March. So they brought her down on a sleigh, and she got in the car. No blankets or nothing. Boutiliers* Music Shops only what I had. It seems that they were kind of rushing or they didn't know. And damn it was cold there facing South Bar and Ingonish. Winter coming right up through from there. I got coming through the Pier. She said, "Driver, you'll have to stop." So I pulled over to the street. And it was about 6 o'clock in the morning. The steelworkers went to work at 7 then. God, there were steelworkers walking to work, you know. And when they saw me pull? ing over--I called a couple of men over. They had lunch cans, you know, and big jackets. They came over. They were married men, you know, and they knew. They said, "It's okay. I'll go right to the hospital with you." The other fellow even took off his. mackinaw--that's what they had on, coats--and put it over her. And he took off his mackinaw and put it around her. And I got to the hospital. He stayed there. I never heard any more and I never got the money! (You never got any money!) I was damn glad to get rid of it. (What about injuries? Did you have to go and get people who had been injured and take them to the...?) Oh yeah, a lot at the steel plant. Yeah, you'd go over, you'd get a call over, the hospital. And a guy would come out on a wheelchair at the steel hospital. At One Gate they had a hospital there. It was only two rooms, you know, or three rooms. But they had 24-hour nurse there. And you'd get them in the cab and take them to the City Hospital or St. Rita, whatever. Often did that. You'd get them on the road. That's why--we caught on a lot, the cabs. In the last 30 years, if you'd see an accident ahead, somebody hurt--you'd duck it. Because you were going to be tied up two or three hours, probably taking somebody to Glace Bay Hospital or Sydney Hospital. And get nothing for it. But then when they put in 20 years ago, a good ambu? lance service, well, that was different.... "We're people you can talk to" Dealers for Quality Brand Name Pianos • Guitars • Electronic Keyboards • Dutch Church Organs TWe sell a complete line of top quality musical instruments and accesso-' ries. Visit our showroom and try the products for yourself. You will like the variety and price. Layaway plan available. No interest for 2 months.' ~ We're Open Monday through Saturday ~ Cape Breton Shopping Centre 39 Keltic Drive Sydney River, N. S. B1S1P4 -562-0018 Cape Breton's Finest Locally-Owned Musical Outlet Music Keyboards Guitars Reeds Strings Horns Violins Bagpipes Chanters Amplifiers PA Systems All Supplies PA Rentals Piano & Guitar Instruction I was going to the airport (one day)--this was '39, coming up for '40. And of course, seats were frozen with Air Canada. Only for military, see. So, I picked up two colonels, military, and a commander in the Navy, and the mail. Anyhow, we went over for the mail, 3 o'clock in the morning. I didn't have time to get the mail. They were there. When I left the house, home, the fel? low at the hotel called. He said, "Charlie, these fellows here are a little bit hot. Military," he said. "You'd better get up here." So I came up and I
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