"22 glorious years!!"
That's what I hear in my head every time i think of Kenny the Cab Driver. That's what he told me the first time i met him and i asked him how long he had been living in the US. I was so curious to know more about this guy as soon as i sat down in his cab. He has the interior walls and the headliner covered with pictures of all his friends. Other cab drivers would think of us as just fares, but to Kenny we are all friends. If you look around a little bit, i bet you'll see some familiar faces... either friends you know or even some celebrities. He has a giant candy bowl for a center console and his cab is themed depending on the time of year. You can see from these pictures, that I'd early March. Just wait for the Halloween decorations.
Also, he has small motivation sayings hanging from the roof, if you need a little pick me up. These sayings give some great insight into what type of person Kenny is.
To show how much i rely on Kenny here's a quick story. A few years ago on Christmas Eve, i drove up to my grandparents house over an hour away and realized that i left the gifts and my great aunt's traditional Christmas fudge at my house. Major breakdown. I called Kenny and let him know where the hide a key was and where the gifts and fudge were and he handled it. He actually had his partner Ali bring it up for me, but nevertheless, those guys saved my ass that year.
But i think Kenny's reputation within the community is best represented by this story. It was probably 5+ years ago now... I think 2004. It was New Years Eve and Kenny was out making sure that all of us made it home safe. He has always been a huge anti drinking and driving proponent and he sees it as part of his role in life to assist people in being safe and not drinking and driving. In what can only be described as an ironic twist of fate, Kenny was hit head on by a drunk driver that New Years Eve. He was so badly injured from the accident that he was unable to work for 18 months. You can imagine the stress that something like would put on him and his family (he was preparing to put is daughter through college at the time). Cab drivers don't have health insurance so he was on his own. If the financial stress wasn't enough, once he was able to work again, the physical pain of sitting in cab all day, every day made it almost impossible to work. But good things happen to good people and some local resident stepped up an anonymously paid for Kenny's treatments and rehab. Who ever did that... thank you.
Oh yeah... and if you ask Kenny about this story he will deny it. I can understand how that was a chapter in his life he that he has moved on from, but more so he's too proud and would be embarrassed that i shared it... and probably pissed at Ali for telling me so much.
If you ever get him to take you to the airport, you'll be treated like royalty at the Southwest curbside baggage check in. He stops and drops candy off for all the baggage guys... too classic.
Call Kenny at 310.918.2354. Odds are high that he will answer the phone since he doesn't use a dispacher. Either he will come get you or he will send Ali, or one of his other partners. These guys are a great local group who really know the South Bay and like helping out it's residents. I hope you support them.
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