Sinclair-Ford | Hackie | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
Pin It
Favorite

Sinclair-Ford 

The first week of January marks the return of the Middlebury College students. Middlebury's academic calendar is odd, perhaps unique. (Go a'googling if you really need to know.) Every January, the students attend a one-month "J-Term," which is sandwiched between the two conventional 4-month semesters. For J-Term, a single morning class is required, allowing for afternoon frolic-time and nighttime studying. Ain't it great to be an undergrad?

The returning students, mostly from out-of-state, create torrents of taxi fares out of Burlington Airport. Speaking for the local cabbies, we likey.

I was scheduled to pick-up Cecilia Sinclair-Ford on Wednesday night.Things being as they are, the arrival was delayed, and delayed again until it finally landed just after 1am. I could grumble, but really - this is the name of the game in the transportation business. Delays happen.

Cecilia was glad to see me waiting for her at the arrival gate, sign in hand. She was hardly bushed and not at all disgruntled. I attribute this to the wonder of being a 20 year-old. She was short and pretty with bright red hair. While we stood around the baggage belt, I mentioned that only 3% of the population has naturally red hair. She said, "Really? I thought it was more than that."

We had a delightful conversation the whole way down Route 7. In my experience, Middlebury students often come from privileged backgrounds and, well, Cecilia Sinclair-Ford was no exception. If her blood was any bluer, she'd probably be recruited into the Blue Man Group. But like so many of these wealthy Middlebury kids, Cecilia and her family - her mother a corporate lawyer, her father an historical architect (you got me) - were progressively active, concerned about improving our society, empathetic to the plight of the less affluent.

As Shelburne turned into Charlotte, it began to snow. I was surprised as it was about 5 degrees, and it usually doesn't snow when it's so cold. But snow it did, heavier and heavier as we headed south. By Ferrisburgh, the road was coated, and difficult to follow. I slowed down to about 30 mph, and concentrated on driving. I must have been doing a great job with the conditions, because Cecilia's gleeful demeanor never wavered - apparently, she had full confidence in my driving chops.

Between Vergennes and Middlebury, we passed no fewer than three vehicles off the road, stuck in ditches. At least two of them were other taxis, who should know better. I paused each time to see if they needed assistance, but, each time, the young driver, as it turned out, told me that tow trucks were on the way.

Got a pencil? I'm about to lay down the oh-so secret method of bad weather driving. Here it is:  Slow Down.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It
Favorite

More by Jernigan Pontiac

About The Author

Jernigan Pontiac

Jernigan Pontiac

Bio:
Jernigan Pontiac is a Burlington cab driver whose biweekly "Hackie" column has been appearing in Seven Days since 2000. He has published two book-length collections, Hackie: Cab Driving and Life, and Hackie 2: Perfect Autumn.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in Hackie

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2017 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation