I was tying to remember these guys and couldn't. Alex hated my guts, why I never found out, then I saw a reference to Merrill, Wisconsin and instantly remembered both of them.
Over the years there were a few pairs of good buddies among the drivers. When I first started driving, I was pretty good friends with a guy named Dennis. Dennis claimed he was in some kind of treatment program, booze I think, and that his life at the moment was basically all a scam. Well, if you're busted down to nothing, why not get free housing intended for drunks while you work your way up to having a couple of bucks free to rent some place. Dennis and I both drove 3am. to 3pm. shifts on Saturday and Sunday. I'd complain to him about the night drivers refusing to bring the cabs in. He'd just smile and chuckle, "Night drivers rule."
Dennis was gone with the end of the school year. Probably with the end of the snow, I don't recall when he left.
Alex and Puffy were both night drivers, who may never have driven a day shift. There must have been some mystery night driver who offered enough instruction to let this happen, contrary to what some people believe, it's not that easy to make a pile of money at night. Alex left town and moved to Washington, D.C. Puffy supposedly has an eatery in Milwaukee that his father bankrolled. I hope both of them are doing well.
Why was Puffy named Puffy? His full nick name was Puff Boy, and it was because of a ride went more than 15 blocks he wouldn't take it. Hence, he was the "cream puffer".
Years earlier, when the Hog couldn't move a long call, or a deep call, he'd sit there and mutter "Cream puffing fagots", nonstop. He always did it off mike, so you had to be in the dispatch office to hear it.