Thanksgiving was this cabbie’s favorite holiday to work. I drove a New York City cab for 12-hour shifts, five to six days a week, a grueling schedule; it was the most exhausting job I ever had, and it was a job I loved.
That I worked on a holiday may cause some to feel sympathy for me, an appreciated response to be sure, but one that prompts a twinge of guilt. Driving on Thanksgiving had a massive plus side.
The city, which to a cabbie means Manhattan and only Manhattan, teemed with family gatherings for Thanksgiving meals that were taking place all over the city. It was not unusual for family members to be given leftovers to take home. Leftovers consisting of turkey, stuffing, apple pie, pumpkin pie, gravy, and cookies from every walk of life, and so on.
Passengers heading home, laden with Thanksgiving leftovers, nearly always offered some to this grateful driver. So much so that by the time I pulled into the gas line back at the fleet garage, my front seat was piled high with a Thanksgiving feast. I was not unique, other cabbies had feasts in their front seats as well.
Back at the garage, and later at home, I’d eat some of the food, feel truly thankful for the generosity of so many, and realize there were all kinds of reasons to love driving on Thanksgiving. After all, driving on Thanksgiving helped feed the love.