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


Take It Or Leave It

The hour was very early on this Sunday morning as this fellow flagged me down as I was returning from a previous call. He was about middle-aged, rather roughly dressed, and in need of a shave as well as a hair cut. He had me drive him to a certain address on lower Front Street, which was down by the bridge in the colored district. The address turned out to be a little hole in the wall in one of the old tenement buildings which lined the street.

As I arrived at the address he had given me, I opened the cab door for him and he insisted I join him, and so I did. After banging on the door it was opened by a little old dried up negress. My passenger called her by name and she responded by inviting us both inside. As I entered and looked around, I surmised that this place was masquerading as a grocery store, as there were a few cans and food cartons on the otherwise empty shelves back of the counter. After this old crone and my passenger finished their endearments for each other, my passenger asked her where Hazel was. She informed him that Hazel was taking a bath.

Beyond this room we were in were additional rooms in the rear which were separated by a curtain hanging in the doorway. My passenger stepped over and slid the curtain to one side to reveal a young negress about 19 or 20 years old bathing in a tin wash tub. She did not seem to mind being exposed in the nude, but to the contrary, she stepped out of the tub and greeted my passenger by putting both arms around his neck-her coffee colored body glistening in the light of the single electric bulb overhead.

He introduced me to both of these females and then asked the old mammy if she had anything to drink. She told him she was all sold out and didn't have a drop in the place. He then asked me if I could get him a bottle of a certain brand of whiskey-I told him I would try.

He then gave me a $20.00 bill and I took off across the river to my favorite bootlegger, whom I was unable to arouse. I then drove to a couple of other dealers but without any success. I then returned empty handed to the store. As I entered, my passenger was sitting in the back room in which there was a small stand. Laying on this stand was a small wicker tray holding several $1.00 bills. My passenger told me to come on in as I was just in time.

I gave him back his $20.00 bill as the young negress came out of another room wearing only a real thin see-through housecoat. She took me by the arm and said, “Come on honey. You'se is next.” My passenger then pointed to the tray of money on the stand and said, “Go ahead and have a go with her, it's all paid for.”

I pulled my arm away and said, “No thanks-I can get all of that I want at home.” My passenger then said if I didn't want any action, it was all right by him. He picked up his money from the tray and put it in his pocket. The young negress was furious with me, saying I was cheating her out of a few honest dollars.

When you are on a live run, you stay with it until you are paid off, regardless of the ending of your shift. But this run was a little disgusting to me, so I told my passenger I had to be going as it was past my checkout time. He paid me off and I left him with his two female friends.


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Published by the Institute for Regional Studies, NDSU
Updated: 7/30/2007