A couple of the mourners, Boomtown and Wanda.
A gathering of a few dozen or more cab drivers is a rare treat. Duane wanted it to be a treat, and he got his way. I will actually include a picture or 2. There was good food, both store bought and home made. What ever you wanted to drink, I thought the cider was rather good. And of course all those people I hadn't seen in years, or only see once or twice a year. They are indeed my family, and I love seeing them, even the ones I don't like. It was held in Tenny Park. Ben Mazel made the wry observation that the last time Duane attempted to reserve a park for a gathering he was denied. Duane was also into Rainbow Gatherings, and the city fathers didn't want that kind of riff raff gathering in a park, it would seem. The gathering to remember Duane was held on Sunday, Oct 12, 2008. Duane was a real cab driver, if ever there was one.
A number of people spoke, I did not. After thinking about him for a couple of days, I do have things to say.
He was from New York City, nobody mentioned that. His cab driving career seems to have started in Key West, Florida, they had a couple of photos of him in a yellow Key West cab. He was also a house painter in Key West, nobody knew that about him. I found out he was a house painter when he and I painted Pari's house, and he was good too, he knew what was wrong with her siding, why it was wrong, and yes Pari, it was the previous owners paint job that destroyed the siding. Like many drivers, he tried to find other things that would turn a buck durring the slow parts of the year, painting for instance.
We used to have this regular rider named Pari. For years she didn't drive, but she finally wanted to, so she got herself a car and a learners permit and hit on all the drivers to go practice driving with her. She had a handicap, so the car was rigged up with the accelerator on the left side, she needed to drive with her left foot. To the best of my knowledge Duane and I were the only drivers who were ever crazy enough to ride with her. My style of being a passenger for practice driving is pretty distintive. According to Pari, she and Duane would go practice driving in the residentail neighborhoods close to Hill Farms, which was near her home, and where she would take her behind the wheel test. I figgured that if she was going to get a license, she needed to really know how to drive, so that's what I insisted on concentrating on. I'll post a couple of entry's devoted to Pari later. I can still hear the high soft accented voice saying, "What means god dammit?"
The gathering included some people I don't know of course. People I knew included Mars Hopper, Boomtown, Wolfie and his dog Luna and his squeeze, Hippie and this charming west African woman who married him (no accounting for taste) and their son, Pinhead and Diaperpin (kid is 5-9, last time I saw him he couldn't walk), Wanda, a couple of Erics, and as I recall them, I'll add them here. God it was good to see them all. Thanks Duane, I'll always remember you in that party at Tenny park.