I got into cab driving because my saxophone teacher was a driver, and he told me all the good things about it. You could drive cab as much or as little as you liked, with a choice of days or nights. I chose nights, and the shift started at about 4 pm. I worked three nights a week, and took home about $800 a month. It was the early 80s. It wasn't a lot of money, but I had four days to do what I wanted. I figured I would drive cab for six months and then move on to something else. It didn't work like that. Once you got into that cab, you were virtually your own boss, and that made it very difficult to go back to a regular 9-to-5 routine.
I wasn't a very good saxophone player, but I tried for three years. I had fantasies of playing in a rock band, being wildly successful, and all the women I wanted. That's all it ever was -- a fantasy. In the meantime, I had to get out of cab driving. My love of motorcycles, coupled with my artistic nature, led me to do a series of pen and ink drawings. This really seemed to be going somewhere, so after driving cab for two years, I put a lot of hours into getting a set of four prints ready for sale. There was a moto-crosser, a speedway rider, drag-racer, and a road-racer (my favorite...) The plan was to get 500 prints of each, drive them to Daytona for Bike Week, sell them on the street for $15,000, sell my car, and fly home... RICH! Well, I got the prints made ($600), but then had problems getting them across the border. Too many questions, and I didn't know then what I know now about dealing with customs. I missed my time frame for Bike Week, so it was back to cab driving...
Now I've been driving for three years. It really is time to get out. That's when I came up with the idea of "Wilbur", the star of a cab driving cartoon series. It too, showed a lot of promise, and I knew I could make a whack of cash if it ever got syndicated. I even went so far as to get legal advice and a copyright. That's how sure I was! But, like the motorcycle prints, it too, never went anywhere. I still think he's a cute fella >
Now I've been driving for four years, and it REALLY IS TIME TO GET OUT!
A short time earlier, I had decided to get back into bicycling. I went to the local bike shop (just to have a look...) and an hour later rode home on a brand new Norco Magnum SE 12-speed road bike. The part I couldn't believe was that I had just put $386 on my Visa card -- the most I had ever spent on a bicycle! It wasn't even a great bike.
Soon, I needed parts, and returned to the bike shop. I waited at the counter, and no one was there. I finally left, and met the owner walking down the street, coming back from coffee. He asked me if I got what I needed, so I told him no one was there, and that he should really hire some good staff!
We talked, and I ended up working there, starting with the very lowly position of assembling cheap steel 10-speed bicycles. My last cab-driving shift was February 4, 1983 ... I had finally left the cab scene.