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Monday, February 28, 2011

Taxi 14

Taxi 14

Last summer, my former dentist, Timothy Kutas, accidentally drilled a hole in my tongue which wasn't numb at the time.  I didn't hold it against him since it was an accident.  Well I had trouble eating and sleeping and the hole became infected in December.  He sent me to an oral surgeon who said he needed to perform a biopsy and it would cost $865.  I called the dentist and tod him he should pay.  He said "I hear ya," which to most people means "I agree. Then said he'd speak to the surgeon and call me back.  Two weeks went by so I called his office and explained to the receptionist why I was calling.  A few hours later, she called and said, (get this,) "He doesn't know what you're talking about, but he's not paying for the biopsy.” “He knows that he drilled a damn hole in my tongue,” I shot back.  She then said, “Don’t cuss at me!”  “I was cussing at my tongue.  Don’t you know the difference,?” I explained.

I kept trying to reach him at the office, then called several times at his home.  Each time I got the answer machine, no matter what time of day or night.  So, out of frustration, I left this message: "This is the man whose tongue you drilled a hole in.  Don't you think it's a chicken shit thing to do to have your receptionist call me?  Aren't you man enough to talk to me?”

Well, it must have freaked him out because he took out a restraining order on me claiming I stalked his family and threatened him will physical harm.  Neither of which are true.  I’m not some lunatic intent on harming anyone. (He's at least 6'4" and about 270lbs.  I’m 5’11” and if he's afraid of a 64 year old with a pacemaker beceause I called him a chicken shit, what must his grade school years a have been like?)

The order was granted for one week at which time a hearing was conducted to either lift the order or extend it. The deputy sheriff who served the restraining order told me I didn't need an attorney to appeal it.  So of course the dentist shows up with an attorney, and  since I didn't have one, the judge wouldn't allow me to question him.

My defense was, calling someone an chicken shit is an insult, not a threat.  But nothing I could have said would have made any difference.  Plus, even though I requested the judge to insist the dentist and his attorney prove the specific allegations in the order, they never did, and the dentist denied drilling my tongue.  So if he didn’t drill the hole, why did he give me a prescription for an antibiotic and pain medication?  I'm currently restrained until August.  The dentist could, on a whim, have me sent to jail for 30 days.

I’m only reporting this as a warning to others seeking dental care in Memphis.

Now on a lighter note:  A good friend of mine went to Nashville last week to close out her late aunt Katie’s estate.  The only remaining item in her house was a safe, so my friend called a locksmith.  It took him two hours of drilling and sawing to open it.  Inside was a single piece of paper on which was written the combination.  Aunt Katie is somewhere laughing her ass off, as did I.  I swear, I no longer have an ass.  I now sit on my own lap.

I rely on Gracie’s keen sense of direction.  Here she’s saying,
“You weren’t supposed to turn there, you moron.  Now give me a treat.”
Notice how well the meter and computer are mounted on the dash.  
My wife thinks I'm going to get in trouble for revealing Gracie in the cab, 
but heck, we give rides to passengers and their dogs don't we.
Friday was a good day for business.  My total income exceeded any previous day, due, in part, to mostly long trips.

As you can see, I took Gracie with me for a few hours.  All my passengers loved it.

My first trip around 6:30 AM was taking a woman from the Residence Inn downtown to the airport.  It was a cold morning, but she was wearing a t-shirt and no coat.  “Aren’t you cold,?” I asked.  “From Minnesota,” was her reply.  She had been in town for a business meeting.  I stopped at the intersection of Monroe and Riverside.  A car with its turn signal on indicating a right hand turn was approaching slowly on Riverside to my left.  When the car slowed even more, I started to pull out, but the other driver changed her mine and slammed on her brakes just inches from my front left fender.  Typical Memphis driver.  I’ve driven cars in L.A. and Chicago where people know how to drive, but here in River City, thinking while driving has been banned.

Another trip was taking a mother and her three kids to school.  The dispatcher gave me the wrong school, so I had to shut the Tom Tom off and follow their directions. The boy, a fourth-grader, sat up front with me, but was too shy to engage in conversation, but when I asked him if he was married, he laughed.  I waited while the mother went in the school to sign in the kids, then took he to a nearby store, then back home.

Also took to young teens to school.  I knew they were brother and sister because they sat as far apart as they could, and didn’t speak to one another.  They wanted to be let out about 200 yards from school.  I guess they didn’t want their friends to see them arrive in a cab.

Picked up a colorful duo at Motel 6 in the Medical center to go to the bus station.  He immediately got in the cab and slammed the door shut as she struggled with a large suitcase.  “Just leave the fuckin’ thing here,” he yelled to her.  I helped her put it in the trunk.  “Where yall headed?,” I asked.  “The bus station,” he said.  “I mean where on the bus are you headed?”, I tried again.  She, in the richest redneck dialect, replied, “Amarillo, Texas.  None too soon, neither.  Can’t wait to get outta this shit hole.”  “You mean you don’t like Memphis?,” I asked.  “Hell,” she went on, “took our damn car.”  “Who,?” I had to know.  “Fuckin’ police (pronounced po-lice with a long ‘o’) up in Tipton county. DU fuckin’ I.“  Wanted $350 for the for the fuckin’ thing.  I told ‘em to keep the fuckin’ thing,” she bitched.  “Gotta fuckin’ tell everybody, don’t cha?,” he snorted.

I let the wind in the cab die down a little, then said, “What’d yall come here for?” “Work,” she answered.  “We travel around workin’ different places.  Got a trailer in a small town near Amarillo.  Town has a seven eleven and a Wally World.”  I said, “Wally World? like the amusement park in National Lampoon’s movie “Vacation.’  So I asked, “Is it a big place.”  She laughed hard and said, “It’s a fuckin’ WalMart.”  Well, at least she was laughing now.  Yep, the mood lightened, so I asked, “How long yall been married.”  He jumped on this one with, “We ain’t fuckin’ married.”  Eventually we found common ground when she noticed I was wearing a Harley Davidson jacket, and even rubbed the HD logo on the sleeve when they got out.  I said, “Hope yall have a fuckin’ good trip.”  They gave me a great tip, twice the fare.  Man, was that a fuckin’ trip!  I’d like to have a few brews with them.  They must have some good stories.

Now there’s something Sarah Palin could add to her charming down-home-style lingo, “You fuckin’ betcha.”  Man, I would love to have her as a passenger. I would pretend I didn’t know who she was, and ask, “What type of business are you in?” “Politics,” she would reply.  “Realy? Well you know that Sarah Palin must be the dumbest, most idiotic public figure of the twenty-first century,” I’d offer up, “She makes Mitch McConnell look like a genius.”   “I AM Sarah Palin,” she would insist.  “Baloney,” I’d say, “I’d recognize her anywhere.  You look more like Tina Fey.”

Picked up a guy who said he used to be the director of the Memphis Music Commission.  We chatted awhile about Memphis music when he said, “Justin Timberlake is as significant an influence as Elvis.”  “Really? Timberlake is just a talented song and dance man.  Elvis changed American culture and opened the door for black artists to get more airplay on traditionally all-white stations.  He also influenced the direction of British culture and rock n’ roll.  Over 600,000 people from the world over visit Graceland each year.  How many do you think will visit Timberlake’s house when he’s gone?,” was my response.  He got real quiet for the rest of the trip.

And this brings up another sore subject in my mental locker of things which bug me.  The Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland only because Celeveland was home to Alan Freed, a radio DJ, who coined the term Rock N’ Roll.  I dare anyone to compile an hour’s worth of Cleveland music.  You could fill several rooms with the great  music that was and still is created in Memphis.  GEEEES!

Trip to a downtown condo where I picked up a young woman head for the U of M.  She said she’s majoring in education.  I told her that’s what my daughter majored in and who just got accepted to grad school.  She lives in Portland, OR where teachers are required to have a masters.  Every state should require this.

Took another young lady from Piggly Wiggly midtown to her home in Frayser.  Long way-good fare.  Not much conversation.

Still another young female headed to cosmetology school.  When she got in, she asked if I had change for a hundred.  “No, but I’ll take you to get change,” i answered.  I entered Banks on the Tom Tom Points of Interest screen.  It listed about five banks with the closest on first.  Went there, but no bank no more.  She was getting worried about how much all this searching was going to cost.  I found another bank a half mile away, and told her I’d turn off the meter untill she got her change.  When I finally got to her location, she told me I was nice and gave me a good tip.

I gave a ride to a nice elderly couple from there midtown apartment to their doctor downtown.  We shared comments about growing old.  She looked to be close to ninety, but was very nice.

Got signaled to go tot he Blue Monkey on Madison where I picked up yet another young woman.  I told her that from 77 to 81 I lived across the street, and the Monkey in those days was the legendary Trader Dicks with live performances by such artists as Travis Womack, Keith Sykes, and Larry Rasberry and the Highsteppers, and the infamous bouncer Campbell Kennsinger.  I spent many hours in there holding onto the bar.  I also told her about what Overton Square was like, and how I could just trot down there anytime and get a drink or some good food.  Silky Sullivan’s first place was in the Square, along with Ruby Reds, The Bombay Bicycle Club, the Grotto restaurant, Lafayette’s Music Room where I saw Kiss perform in 1972 before they made it big.  There was also Solomon Alfred’s club which had some great entertainers such as Delbert McClinton whom I stood next to at the urinal.  And no, I didn’t look.  Further west was a large club called the Ritz where I saw George Thurgood, among others.  South on Cooper past Union was High Cotton where such notables as George Harrison or Eric Clapton would just show up and jam onstage.  Will somebody please revive the square?

One more trip.  I picked up (yes!) a young woman who was from Bulgaria but lives here now with her husband who teaches philosophy at Rhodes college.  She has a masters in political science.  I said, ‘I can imagine what the dinner conversation is like.”  I told her about my blog, and now she’s one of my regular followers. She too writes a blog about marrying a Bulgarian and all the time-honored traditions leading up to the wedding.  Check it out: http://www.howtomarryabulgarian.com

Well folks, the clock on the wall says it’s time for a glass of scotch.  Hope to have another entry next week.  Try to be an easy rider.


© 2010,  Eddie Tucker.  All rights reserved.

(Disclaimer:  The views expressed on this post are mine, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Yellow Cab, Checker Cab, or Premier Transportation Services.)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Taxi 13

Monday was a beautiful day with warm temps, and busy.  It was non-stop, plus traffic all over town was heavier than normal.  I attribute the increased business and traffic to the weather. The whole city must have decided to get the heck out of the house because the week before was bitter cold with snow.

I was so busy I don’t know how many trips I had, and I can’t remember them all.  Perhaps I should take a secretary with me to take notes.  Anybody up for the job?  The pay is nada dollars and zilch cents.

Picked up a guy at the bus station to go to a hotel in east Memphis.  He said he rode the bus from Burlington, NC and it took 19 hours.  “I’ll never do that again,” he said.  He’s a trucker for a company located in Memphis.  The company has an account with Yellow Cab so this was a voucher trip.  Good dough!  For some reason, he and I got into a conversation about professional wrestling.  I told him my story about my childhood hero Billy Wicks and how he came to eat lunch with me at school one day.  The trucker said he had photos of him as a kid with several famous grapplers including the legendary “Nature Boy” Buddy Rodgers.  He then told me about his Nigerian girlfriend whom he plans to marry.  “She’s not like American women,” he said, “she treats me like a king.”  I thought to myself that will probably change once she gets to know our ways.

Picked up a woman who said she just spent $6,000 to rid her attic of rats.  She said the whole neighborhood is infested.  “Do they kill the rats?” I asked.  “No,” she replied, it’s illegal.”  She said the examinator uses a spray which drives the rats out, then they seal the roof.  Her cab trip was only a few blocks, but she paid me more than twice the fare.  Rats, I wish I could remember her name.

Wednesday was a big day for two reasons.

First, ten other drivers and I had to attend a safe driving course.  We met at the cab yard and traveled together in a van to the meeting.  Along the way everyone was griping about having to do this.  Among us there was probably collectively over 4,000 hours of driving experience.  We probably have to do this so the company can maintain a good insurance rating.

The first hour was devoted to marketing presented by the company’s marketing director.  The theme was how we each could make more money.  Did you know that one way is to use breath mints?  Well, it makes since.  You don’t want to talk to passengers with your breath smelling like you just had the latest Subway footlong special of garlic and dung beetles.

The marketing show and tell was really pretty good with some useful info.  Plus we each got a free Elvis pen.  Every time I tried to use it, it only wrote “hunka, hunka burning love.”

The next three hours was on safe and defensive driving.  The majority agreed to skip some breaks so we could get this over with quicker.  At one point, I slipped out and went through an exit into the stairwell to take a smoke, because I’m addicted to nicotine and was going nuts.  Naturally I got locked out.  I swear I checked the door first before exiting to make sure that wouldn’t happen.  But that’s my luck, always getting caught with my hand in the cookie jar like being suspended four times and finally expelled from Snowden Junior High.  Yes fans, I was a juvie: just harmless, stupid stuff like dismantling water fountains and placing the hardware in the locker of kid we didn’t like, or throwing spitballs at the blackboard when the teacher’s back was turned.  Hell, today kids bring guns to school.  What will kids be doing in ten years?

Anyway, our new director of operations was at the meeting and we had some pretty good discussions.  I like this new guy.  He seems sincere and determined to make some needed improvements.

The second reason this was a big day is because this was the day the Memphis Flyer hit the stands with the cover story about this here blog.  The Flyer reprinted excerpts leading to new found respect for me at the cab yard.

Wanna know the name of the Yellow Cab yellow?  Its Swamp Holly Yellow, and research shows it is the most visible color.  So next time you’re down in the swamp, pick you some Swamp Holly.  They’re perty!

Thursday.

My first rider was a business man going from the Hilton to the airport.  He said he’d been waiting a half hour, and asked why there weren’t any cabs at the hotel.  “I’m sorry you had to wait,” I told him,  “there is usually at least one cab there, but this has been a pretty hectic morning.”  He was concerned about missing his flight, but I assured him that Fast Eddie will get him there in plenty of time.  “Where you from?” I asked.  “New York,” he replied.  A few minutes passed and I inquired about what type of business he’s in. “Banking,” was his answer.  “How’s the banking business these days?” I asked.  “It’s good.  Its like the last two years never happened,” he said.  I asked him, “Are banks lending money again?”  He said they are, but it’s a little scary.  “Gotta have faith,” I offered.  I asked him if he was living in NYC on 9/11.  He said yes, but he lives at the opposite end of the island.  He’s originally from Maryland, and in reference to 9/11 he said New Yorkers are pretty resilient.

Some of you may recall my story of the 92 year old WWII vet whom I picked up at Kroger, and how I kept trying to get him to tell me some war stories, but all he wanted to talk about was how rude people are today.  Well I picked him up again today.  I said, “I remember you. You and your brothers were in the Pacific campaigns in WWII.”  “Yeah, that’s me,” he replied.  “I bet you saw a lot of action,” I said, hoping for a story or two.  “Saw a hell of a lot of action,” he said, proudly wearing his WWII veteran’s cap.  Then he went on to say, “People today got no manners.  Don’t say please or thank you.  I just held the elevator door for this guy who didn’t bother to say shit.  And the young ones just as soon shoot ya as look at ya.”  Well so much for my hearing any good war stories.

I let him out at a house in south Memphis which was surrounded by a chain link fence with a dog in the yard.  As I maneuvered the cab to turn to the opposite direction, I noticed he was still standing at the gate, so I pulled up and said I’d wait for him to get inside.  He told me, “Don’t gotta do that.  I got my shit with me and if anybody fucks with me I’ll blow there ass off.”  And he would too.  I mean really, after three years of fighting the ruthless Japs in some of the most contested battles of the war, the streets of Memphis probably seem quite manageable to him.  Can’t wait to pick him up again.  I’ll start with, “I always heard the battles in the Pacific were a cake walk.”

Gave a ride to a family of Muslims from Yemen.  I commented on the protests underway in that country and asked if it was a good thing.  They all nodded yes.  Took them to LeBonheur.

Later I picked up a Latino family here from Tupelo.  They were staying at the Ronald McDonald House near St. Jude where their little nephew was undergoing treatment. It was the mother, who spoke no English and her teenage son and daughter.  The son, age 14, sat up front, and I asked if he played sports. “Basketball”, he answered, “wanted to play football but my mother wouldn’t let me.”  They were headed to the Pink Palace.  The boy and I talked about football mostly.  “Do you like baseball?” he asked.  “I don’t like to watch it.  Boring,” I replied.  “Yeah, me too,” he said.  When I looked at his sister in the rearview mirror, I asked them if they were twins.  “No,” they giggled.  “Good,” I said, “because she’s much better looking than you,” I said to the boy.  They enjoyed that.  During the ride they asked how much the fare would be.  I told them I didn’t know for sure, but probably around fifteen dollars.  When we got there, I knocked a few bucks off the fare.  My best friend’s eight year old grandson died from cancer three years ago.  It kills me to see kids suffering form this.  We’re very lucky to have St. Jude, an amazing resource.

For those of you who aren’t aware of it, St. Jude never charges anyone for treatment, so if you have a few extra bucks, give them to St. Jude.  What goes around comes around.

After cruising around town for awhile, I noticed a trip available in zone 254, Sycamore View and Summer area.  I was at Ridgeway and Poplar at the time, but I put the metal to the pedal and got the trip.  The rider looked like a biker, with long, grey hair, tats, and a beard.  His daughter had his car in Montreal, and his ride never showed up, and his custom Harley was in Daytona.  He needed to make several stops, so we talked for awhile about Harleys, Sturgis, and Daytona.  He said he was in the music business, and owns a recording studio in Japan.  I told him that I had visited a friend of mine that very morning who owns a studio in midtown, and that his studio also mixes sound for movies.  My rider said he was planning to get into the movie mixing too, and asked me to give my friend his card.  So the guy has a home in Florida, an ex wife in Montreal, a studio and girlfriend in Japan, and something going on in New York, yet he has to depend on rides from friends.  MMMMM???  Oh, he‘s also the former tour manager for Van Halen.  Go figure.

My last trip of the day was a guy I picked up at Baptist Hospital on Walnut Grove Road.  He said the woman cab driver he had in the morning stopped for gas and assured him they had credit card capability.  “Did she turn off the meter when she got gas? I asked.  He said no.  “Must not have been a Yellow Cab,” I said.  “It wasn’t, and she didn’t have credit card capability,” he replied.  “Always take Yellow Cab.  We’re more ethical,” I offered.

He needed to go to his hotel, downtown, and I advised him that this was rush hour and the trip would take a little longer.

I didn’t get a good look at him when he entered the cab, but I noticed dark hair and a sport coat.  His voice and mannerisms reminded me of the actor John Heard (the corrupt detective on the Sopranos).  So all the way to downtown, I kept thinking John Heard was in my cab.

He was a real nice guy.  An airline pilot for American for 27 years, flying sometimes to Europe or South America.  I asked him if he had someone in the hospital.  He said no, that he’s working on a business deal because one can never tell when the airline might have financial problems.

“Im going to be a grandfather for the first time,” he said, and excited about it.  “You know the best thing about grandkids is that when your finished playing with them, you can send them home,” I said.
“Are you a grandfather,?” he asked.  “Hope not,” I answered.  Then told him about my daughter and how she’s very selective when it comes to men. “She doesn’t suffer fools easily,” I said.

Things got quiet, and I sensed a brooding in the back seat, so I lightened the mood with a joke:  A group of friends sends an old man friend of theirs a hooker for his eightieth birthday.  When he opened the door, the hooker said, “Want some super sex?”  He replied with, “I’ll take the soup.”

I suggested a few places to eat downtown, and when I dropped him off, he gave me a nice tip.

If you want to learn more about me got here: http://www.docsnews.com/eddie_tucker.html

See ya next time...


© 2010,  Eddie Tucker.  All rights reserved.

(Disclaimer:  The views expressed on this post are mine, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Yellow Cab, Checker Cab, or Premier Transportation Services.)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Taxi 12

Hello readers of the Yellow Sage.

Thursday was a beautiful day.  High around fifty and clear skies, unlike the previous couple of weeks with overcast skies, rain, snow, and cold, cold, cold. Give me warm days, sunny skies, a clean beach, and keep the Pina Coladas coming.

Before being faced with college tuition, we used to take family vacations to the beach every year.  The first year we went to the Boca Raton Beach Club and Resort.  At the time, I was addicted to golf, so I would play eighteen holes each morning then join my wife and daughter at the pool or beach.

I had my best game of golf near the end of our stay.  I had just finished a round and decided to play nine more holes.  The starter had me join a group of three on the tenth tee.  The threesome consisted of two middle-age men and one’s nineteen year old son who turned out to be their precocious golf protege.  The two guys were his personal cheering squad.  I could tell by their clothes, expensive clubs, and Rolexes that these guys were wealthy, and I could tell by their attitude they didn’t want me intruding, but they had no choice.

I parred the first two holes.  The third hole was a par three, and I flubbed my tee shot–it just rolled a few feet.  Well the “guys” laughed their asses off and I don’t like to be laughed at, so I took out my wedge and laid the ball six inches from the hole and shot par.  They got noticeably quiet.

The next hole was a long par five, dogleg right with water and two bunkers in front.  All week long I never got on the green in less than four shots.  I hit a pretty decent tee shot.  For my second shot, I decided to go for broke so I took out my driver.  Usually when I hit a wood in the fairway I slice it, so I aimed far to the left of the fairway, swung, and the ball curved to the right and landed about ten feet from the hole.  They were flabbergasted, and I went to the green to wait for their silly asses.  I shot a birdie.  The kid must have been rattled because he shot an eight.  The other two Rolexes bogied.  I ended up with two over par for the round, and walked off laughing.  It doesn’t pay to laugh at Fast Eddie.

But this has nothing to do with driving a cab.

It was a normal day for business, not too slow or too busy, but I did get a couple of good vouchers.  The hospitals pay for patients who take a cab home.  My first voucher was for forty one bucks.  I picked up a guy at Methodist North and drove him nineteen miles to his home almost near the state line.  He had been a patient for four days and said he was going nuts staring at the same four walls.  “Well, I know you’ll be glad to get home,” I said.  “Yep.  Got a nice four-bedroom house I bought forty years ago,” he replied.  “I work sometimes for a man at his home, and my house is bigger than his.  But I can’t tell him that or he won’t pay me as much.”  When we arrived on his street, he had a little trouble at first finding his home, but he found it and we rolled onto the driveway.  I offered to help him to the door, but he declined so I waited for him to go inside.  Nice guy.

My other voucher was for thirty-one one dollars for picking up a woman at Methodist Midtown and driving her to Raleigh.  She was a sweet lady who looked to be in her eighties.  She rode in the front seat because the back seat makes her car sick.  Along the way she noticed my Tom Tom GPS speaking directions.  I said, “It’s a pretty amazing device.”  She replied with, “You know, the bible predicted that.”   “Oh?” I asked.  “Yes, the bible said people will get smarter,” she said.  “Well, you can’t argue with that,” I told her.  “I just can’t imagine the kind of brain that thinks up these things,” she said.  As we drove toward her home she told me that she and her husband used to own a carpet store, and one evening as her husband was leaving, someone shot him to death.  He was only fifty.  She said the police caught the guy and he was convicted but later released after only four years because of jail overcrowding.  I told her that just wasn’t right.  She said “God takes care of me, though.”  When we arrived, I helped her into the house where she lives alone.  I wished her good luck, and left thinking that I hoped she would be safe.

The next day was back to overcast sky and more cold, but a good day for business.

Among my trips was one to Mud Island where I picked up a man and a young woman.  I took them to the bank to withdraw some cash, then to the bail bondsman where she paid her bail, then dropped her off at the Criminal Justice Center, commonly referred to as “201” because its at 201 Poplar.  She was due in court.  I then took him back to his house  Total of twenty-six bucks and a five buck tip.   Never asked what she was charged with, but judging by her tattoos and pierced nose, it’s a safe bet it wasn’t insider trading..

You have to hustle to make any money driving a cab. I drove around town waiting for the magic “ding, ding, ding, trip available” on the computer.  I checked the computer and saw a trip available in zone 217 which is in Whitehaven, about eight miles form my position, so I raced out there and got the “ding.”  It was a woman and two little kids who needed a ride home from Walmart.  They had walked there without realizing how far it was.  After dropping them off, I got another “ding” to head to Southaven, MS to pick up a prescription at CVS Pharmacy at 55 Goodman Road.  Well, my Tom Tom said there was no 55 Goodman Road, and I went seven miles in the wrong direction.  I then selected Points of Interest on the Tom Tom and entered CVS.  Three appeared on the screen.  The first one was the wrong address.  The second was the charm, and I carried the prescription to a nursing home a few blocks away.



© 2010,  Eddie Tucker.  All rights reserved.

(Disclaimer:  The views expressed on this post are mine, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Yellow Cab, Checker Cab, or Premier Transportation Services.)