Richard Bostwick Reminiscences

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Welfare Office Stories
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Cab Driving Stories
The Way It Was - 1930
The Gambler And His Gal 1927
The Last One To Know 1926
Just A Couple Of Hustlers 1925
Cash On Delivery 1923
One Born Every Minute 1923
Fun Is Where You Find It 1923
An Ace In The Hole 1922
And A Little Child Shall…
Gold Tooth Murphy
Aiding And Abetting 1929
Buried Treasure 1927
The Good Samaritan
Just A Country Trip
The Prodigal Son
Occupational Hazard
Four Bags Full
Overtime Pay
Above And Beyond The Call
Fourth Down And Ten
Let There Be Light
Take It Or Leave It
Double Or Nothing
The Champ
Three Of A Kind
My Silent Big Spender
N.P.R.R. (Northern Pacific Railroad) Mr. Moody


Prohibition Stories
A Little Competition
Some Did Burn
Last Words


Cab Driving Stories -

The following short stories that I have jotted down here are just a few of the experiences I encountered while driving a taxi cab, up to and including the depression of the 1929 and 1930 era. While they are not in sequence, I assure you they are quite authentic. Driving cab in those days was quite a bit different than it is today. Our cabs did not have the comforts or conveniences of the modern taxicab. Power brakes, power steering, and automatic transmissions were unheard of back then. We also did not have any two-way radios, but there usually would be a telephone on the front counter of most all places of business. These we would use to call our dispatcher for another run as soon as we had finished the last one.

The following are some of the odd experiences that I encountered, but I made many, many trips that were of a routine nature, like driving some foot weary shopper home after a day of bargain hunting. Or perhaps some young couple on their way to a school prom. Then again, there was a time or two that I raced the stork to St. Johns…

Not all cab drivers in those days were honest and upright citizens. There were a few amongst us who would not hesitate to ‘knock-down' a fare now and then (keep the money received for a trip that the cab company did not know about). Another sneaky trick was to receive a bill from a passenger in payment of his fare and stick into their pocket, especially if the amount was under a dollar. Then they would give the passenger change for a $1.00 bill. Quite often, after discharging the passenger, the first streetlight they came to would reveal the bill was a 5 or 10 instead of a 1, especially if the passenger happened to be a little tipsy.

Advertisement for Dolye Cab Co., Richard Bostwick's employer

One night after all of our cabs came back from delivering pickups we had gotten off from the Great Northern Flyer, we were all in the office when the phone rang. After the dispatcher Howard hung up, he turned and asked Earl, one of our drivers, how much he had charged that girl he had hauled from the train station to Grove Seminary, an all girls boarding school. Earl acted surprised as he replied, “Seventy cents, why?” Howard then asked him if it wasn't a bill the girl had given him. Earl replied, “Yes, it was a $1.00 bill.” Then Howard said, “Let's see it.” Earl took from his billfold several bills, all of them $1.00 bills except one, which was a $20.00 bill. Earl acted real surprised, as though it was the first time he had ever seen the 20. Howard told him to go back to the seminary and give that girl $19.00 which was the balance of her rightful change, which Earl did.

What had happened was the matron at the seminary had seen the cab deposit the girl at the front door of the school. The matron noticed the number of the cab and later when the girl complained to the matron of the high price of her cab ride, the matron called and complained to Howard. Earl swore up and down it had been an honest mistake. Maybe-maybe not.


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Updated: 7/30/2007