Taxi Driver: An Easy Job For A Rare Character Hyman Bloom started driving a cab in New York City more than 30 years ago. He made $40 for 10 hours of work, he remembers — and started to wonder what he was doing in a taxi. Bloom stayed with it and came away with no regrets — and plenty of stories.
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Taxi Driver: An Easy Job For A Rare Character

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Taxi Driver: An Easy Job For A Rare Character

Taxi Driver: An Easy Job For A Rare Character

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

It is Friday morning, the end of an unsettling week, but you can still count on this. It's time for another conversation from StoryCorps. People across the country were interviewing each other for this project. In New York City, a taxi driver named Andrew Vollo has been interviewing other cabbies. And here, Mr. Vollo talks with retired driver Hyman Bloom about more than 30 years behind the wheel.

Mr. HYMAN BLOOM (Retired Taxi Driver, New York, New York): On the first shift, I must've made 40 dollars after 10 hours. I said, what am I doing in this business? But you talk to people, you get out, you are not stuck behind an office desk, and it's an easy job. One street goes uptown, one goes downtown. Even streets go east. Odd streets go west. You don't have to be brilliant, and my wife says I'm a simpleton, so it's perfect for me. And you get people on the cab, they want to talk. I have routines I pull on them. They laugh. And when I have mixed couples, I don't know why it is, the women want to hear all the filthy jokes. But otherwise, they'll tell me problems. He has a son. What do I do? I tell them, if I can answer those problems, I wouldn't be driving a cab, which is true.

Mr. ANDREW VOLLO (Taxi Driver, New York, New York): If you could do something differently in your life, what would you do?

Mr. BLOOM: I think I will do the same thing. Got a wife I love, wife that loves me, kid. I love to travel. You think you are going to make more money? Money is not everything. My father told me something a long time ago. He said if you always have one dollar in your pocket, and you don't owe anybody any money, you're a rich man. And I don't take things seriously. That's what keeps me healthy, I think. My father died at 60. Every little thing bothered him. He could speak six languages. He could play a banjo. He could add in his head. I'm lucky I speak English. But my mother was very simple. Nothing bothered her. She used to say, Hymie, be a dummy. You'll never get an ulcer. Dummies don't worry about anything. That's what I am, a dummy.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. VOLLO: Well, thank you for doing this interview with me.

Mr. BLOOM: OK, sir, my pleasure. I expect to have a free meal out of this, you know, for nothing.

Mr. VOLLO: You got it. You got it.

INSKEEP: Andrew Vollo and Hyman Bloom at StoryCorps in New York City. Their conversation will be archived with all StoryCorps interviews at the Library of Congress. And you can find more interviews with New York City cab drivers at npr.org.

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