Monday, June 27, 2011

Oshkosh City Cab, or the Wild Bunch revisited


You don't have to watch the whole video... it's just a bunch of old guys getting together for a birthday jam.  Someone said it was on YouTube and I found it.  I knew some of them pretty well, back in the day, the early -mid seventies... when I worked with some of them at the old Oshkosh City Cab.  Now that is too many stories to fit into one story, so there really is no point in trying, but the deal was is that you could get by being a hack back then, and it had great flexibility if you were a student or... a musician. I was one of the former.  Anyways, and it turned into a real interesting few years, the way it worked, see.... is just about everyone who drove DAYS was a musician, (Big City Bob is in the video) and all the night drivers were students, or mostly student-types.  We kept the city rolling.

For a while, all the night drivers, the students-student types, well, we were all Buds and lived in three different houses. I lived with KCR and Shoe...over on Franklin St. there was Tall Dave and Wheels and Dolt and Smut-Man.  Down on Vine St resided Bruiser, Dimly Lit, LT and .... Kid Curry.
my cab photo

Kid was a work of art... a little Picasso, some Van Gough, a dash of Dali..... but mostly Dr. Seuss.  You had to know him.  His hair was long and prematurely white, not grey. He had worked various jobs, when I knew him, and sadly, I cannot know him any more in the present cause he died about 18 years ago, but he had been a guitar player, a bartender, a artificial inseminator of cows, a busboy, a cook.... but when I knew him... a cab driver.
And today, I have a little Kid story.
Now, when I was driving, we got along with the cops pretty well.  They would stop in the station and tell us about the REALLY bad guys they were looking for, maybe run-a-ways from the State Hospital.. that stuff.  No big deal.  They usually, especially the night beat cops, give us some slack on speeding and other such... in fact even roll in once in a while to warn us of a particular Boy in Blue who did not fancy cab drivers and where that guy would be cruising on any particular night.
Well one day they rolled in, asked for a little help finding a Transvestite hooker up from Milwaukee who was practicing the trade, and unfortunately,  also ripping off clients wallets and credit cards. Now, I had seen the guy/gal, and frankly he did a very very good 'she' and had been asked if I would accept a favor in exchange for the fare,which I declined, cause I had a girl friend and needed the money more than a blow job.  Now, over all, we, the drivers, had a pretty good relationship with the 'working' girls who worked the strip clubs. It is what it is, see, and a few of them were also out of state college students who could make a lot more stripping for a summer than they could waiting tables.  Anyways, a thief is a thief and we told the cops we would be on the look out for the transvestite rip-off artist.

But the Kid didn't hear the message and one night we see him pull up to the front of the station.... and pick up the said 'girl', and he calls in on the radio, says, "I'm taking a break for awhile".  Now, I believe it was the Mole Man, Dimly and I that were in the station when he called in and we cannot just wait for him to come back and break him the news.  It was the Kid, after all, and he had priorities different than the rest of us, if he had any at all, see.  So, times goes by, I run a few fares and so does Dimly, and we are there about forty five minutes later when the Kid comes back in.  Now, he has a grin on his face that could cut the lid off a can of beans and he's got a little swagger in his walk.  "Guys," he says," you are not gonna believe what just happened to me!"  He tells us the whole story and Dimly and I are starting to laugh, especially about the un-zip part and how good it was.  I think the Kid thought we were laughing because he was telling a good story.
Finally,we could not take it anymore, told him all about the cops, the he/she and all of it. Now, he looked a bit crest fallen for a bit, then breaks back out into a grin. "Well," he said, " if you close your eyes..... it's all the same!"
 You could never take the wind out of the Kid's sail..... I swear, if you had put horse-shit in his Christmas stocking he would just run out looking for the pony that got away.  I kinda miss the Kid.

I best go now...... I think my ponygot away and I best be looking for it.


S.W. Anderson said...

That's quite a story, LOL. I think most cabbies have a collection of them, but mostly share them with one another. Same thing with cops and ambulance drivers.

susan said...

It's been a long time since I heard a live version of Mustang Sally. I wonder if the band specialized in car songs? Goodness knows there are a lot of them.

Randal Graves said...

Holy hell, that's the best damn story I've heard in awhile.

okjimm said...

SW... yupperz..that is what happened last thursday.. the drummer in the video is a friend who also drove... we hashed out more that a few stories.

Susan... those guys hadn't played together in years.. they had to pick out songs they all knew.

Randal... that was just one of the milder Kid Curry Stories... I should try to remember a few more.

nonnie9999 said...

you need to write a collection of short stories about all the characters you've come across over the years.

Squatlo said...

Great tale... too bad the Kid isn't around to tell it himself. Wonder if the Tranny is still on the streets? (let that be a lesson to you kids on the prowl...)

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