|Author: Rhynes, J.D.
|Memorable Cab Drivers of Louisville Kentucky
In 1997, the international bluegrass music Association moved its
convention, tradeshow, and fan Fest from Owensboro Kentucky, to
Louisville Kentucky. The Galt House Hotel was the headquarters for
the shindig, there in Louisville, and was only a 20 min. $12 cab
ride from the airport. Here then,is the story of two of the funniest
gentlemen I have ever met, and both of them were cabdrivers there in
I can't remember the year when I met the first gentleman driving a
bunch of us to the Galt House. I arrived at the airport in
Louisville around one or two o'clock, and who should I bump into
while waiting for my luggage was non other than Carl Pagter and
another CBA member who I cannot remember at this time. We gathered
our luggage and headed out to get us a cab to the hotel. I told
everybody, I AM buying the cab ride so let's go, so we all piled in
and off we went. Now I am from the South, and I don't have a bit of
trouble understanding people from the South who have a deep brogue,
peculiar to the deep South, especially Alabama, Louisiana, and parts
of Georgia, but I'm here to tell you folks that I could barely
understand that Driver that day! He was as happy as a clam at high
tide to haul us to the hotel, and when he started talking, about the
only thing I could decipher was, where are you from, are y'all
musicians here for the bluegrass convention?[Carl and one of the
other members had their instrument cases with them] but it kind of
came out like this; Whuh y'all frum? Ah y'all musissin's heahfa tha
Boograss cuvenshunn? Everybody was looking at me very intently, and
Carl definitely had a puzzled look on his face, and was amazed that
I could understand even a word or two of what this man was saying.
He went on to tell us that he was an old boy from 'bama,n he sho duz
luv lisinin' to Bill Munro pik 'n sang.In fak hez a'ways bin ma
favrut of em awl, all the while laughing and carrying on. Well like
I said, it was only a 20 min. and, $12 taxicab ride and worth twice
that much as far as I was concerned, so I give that old 'Bama boy a
$20 and told him to keep the change. He gave me a big hug, said,ah
Sho duz lak yall fok's frum Cowifornya,n I sho duz hope ta see yall
agin, and off he went back to the airport. As the cab faded from
view, Carl said to me; JD I did not understand one word that man
said. How in the hell could you understand him? I said Carl, I guess
it's in my genes my friend, because I had one hell of a time
understanding him myself. But the story does not end there. Because
believe it or not, the following year when I went to Louisville,
Kentucky, after getting my luggage, and heading out to cab row, who
should pull up to haul me to the hotel, but that same old 'Bama boy!
I could hardly believe it! There was one or two other CBA members
with me, who I can't remember at this time, but that old 'Bama boy
was beside himself with joy when he seen me, and said, when I seed
yall's big hat ah memer's yall fum las yeer,itz sho gud to see yall
agin, and off we went, with him laughing all the way to the hotel.
The first thing I did when I got to the Galt House was look up Carl
Pagter and tell him who the cab driver was that brought me to the
hotel. We both had a good laugh, and both agreed that that was a
most singular experience for the both of us.
Well, as funny as that old Bama boy was, here's the story of a fine
Southern gentleman that was driving the taxi that took me to the
airport in Louisville on a Sunday morning.
It had been a very long week in Louisville, and I was wore out and
ready to go to California to my little home in the mountains, where
I planned on sleeping for at least a week. As was our custom back
then, Ronnie Reno and I had breakfast that Sunday morning in the
hotel, and I went and said my goodbyes to everybody there, gathered
my luggage and headed out the door to get a cab to the airport.
Driving the cab that morning was a fine old black Southern
gentleman, who talked with a real slow drawl, and he related to me
one of the funniest stories I think I've ever heard in my life.
After I got all settled in the backseat, and we were well on the way
to the airport, the old gentleman said to me, are you one of them
folks from California that has been here to this music convention? I
told him that I was, and he replied. I sho does enjoy y'all folks
from California. Y'all folks doesn't mind taking a cab to where you
goes, and y'all sho duz tip nice. Well, I thanked him for the kind
words for us Californians, and then he continued on. You know's,
evah April they is about 10,000 Baptist's come to town for a big
Baptist convention and them is the walkin's folks I evah did see.
They walk's evah wheah they go, and doesn't take a taxi nowheah!
Them folks comes to town with a $10 bill AND the 10 Commandments and
they doesn't break either one of'em! I laughed all the way to the
airport that morning! I told that old gentleman that was one of the
greatest stories I will ever hear my life. When we got to the
airport, I gave him a 20 and told him to keep the change. Sadly,
our paths never crossed again, with either him or that old 'Bama
boy, two of the funniest Southern gentleman I ever had the pleasure
to meet. I am a better man for having met these two gentlemen. May
God bless and keep them.
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Bluegrass Association. All rights reserved.
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