Harry Hope's Saloon

This blog takes it's name from the setting for O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh -- a lousy gin-mill; a smoked-out, greasy dive where the habitues have all landed, it seems, permanently. Their lives, in each case, are paralyzed by fear and laziness. Like my own.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Long live the King

Here's a great little story about redemption --- after a fashion. John Riegle drives the "Elvis Taxi" in Sacramento (about 12 miles from my home in Davis). Okay, he's a bit cracked. Says he "channels" Elvis. He sings and shimmys and shakes his pelvis in front of his cab, carrys on like a damned lunatic ... and delights his clients ... and makes a tidy sum. I especially like this passage:

Beneath the sunglasses and the alter ego is a savvy business person. Riegle has a bachelor’s in marketing from San Francisco State University. But he’s in it for more than money. Riegle says driving a cab helped him heal from his wife’s death. "I lost everything back 11 years ago. Lost my job, my house, my car, my credit. Wound up a hobo, wino, over in Del Paso Heights. Spent about two years in the VA hospital rehab. What a mess my life was when I lost Judy. Oh my god. Fixed and all better now, though. The cab business is one of the things that has fixed me, and made me strong and healthy again."

Here's what I think: it might not be the case that nobody who can laugh and dance without fear or self-consciousness ever lost their job, their house, their car, their credit. But I'll bet that nobody whoever lost their job, their house, their car, their credit knew yet how to really laugh and dance.

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