15 minutes with … a taxi driver
Age: 53Occupation: Owner/operator/driver/mechanic of Valley TaxiHometown: Covington, KentuckyWhen did you move to Garfield County and why? I’ve lived in this valley off and on, going back and forth from Florida and Colorado. When I was a kid on my first vacation without my parents I came out to Colorado and ended up in Aspen one summer in 1972. Basically, the heat and humidity of Florida drove me out.First thing you’d buy after winning the lottery? A bigger sailboat.How long have you driven a taxi? About eight years.What kind of area does Valley Taxi cover? The pickup area is from Glenwood Springs and the surrounding area to Parachute. We drop off anywhere in Colorado.What’s the most popular destination? This time of year they all want to go in the canyon to pick up cars … from bike trips and rafting. There’s gas workers that want to go to Grand Junction to catch a flight. Medical runs. Detox transports.Anything unique about the job in this area? You meet an interesting group of people. No day is ever the same and you never know who you’re going to pick up.What’s the best thing about it? Getting to travel around Colorado.What’s the worst thing about it? For driving, I would say the 2 a.m. bar rush.Has anyone ever done anything strange in the cab while you were driving? Fooling around. People think it’s a limo or something.What’s the worst fare you’ve ever had? The worst would be somebody throwing up in the cab. That’s why we kind of screen our late night customers.What’s the most unusual fare you’ve ever had? The strangest thing I saw was when (wanted criminal) Brent Brents got caught. He passed me on Highway Six at about 90 miles per hour. I got to see the police chase. I think it was a Camaro or something.What’s the best tip you’ve ever gotten? Probably $100 for a local run.Have you seen the movie “Taxi Driver?” What did you think of it? Yes. Well I liked the movie but it was pretty unrealistic. Obviously he had some issues.What do you do in your spare time? I don’t really have any. I try to go on vacation a couple times a year – back to Florida. A couple years ago I went to Sturgis for the motorcycle rally.As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? The two things that come to mind are an airline pilot or a forest ranger. Never came close to either one of them. I got eight hours in on a Cessna once when I was younger.Any tattoos? No.What’s the greatest invention of all time? The Internet.Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO
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There are a few extra stories being shared around the tables at the Village Smithy restaurant in Carbondale this week following the death of restaurant founder and longtime community leader Chris Chacos.