Wonderland Taxi (volume One)
The events in this Hub are fictional. Any similarities to any real-life events either real or imagined are purely coincidental.
It seems as though we have been best friends forever. I first moved to Revere from the South End. Ciro came from East Boston, and Anthony who owns Sub Variety down the Beach came from Somerville.
We all had similar family backgrounds. We all did in Revere in those days. Anthony could have gone to college, he was an Immaculate Conception alumnus. However, he had an argument the day he graduated high school with his dad who threw him out of the house. He never said what the argument was about, and we never asked.
Ciro's entire family worked down the airport since his entire family came from East Boston There was no way around that one, regardless if he wanted it or not. Regardless if any of us wanted it or not.
I had no desire to go into a labor union like the rest of my family. So the day I graduated in 1971 I went to the registry and signed up for my hackie license. I figured driving cab was not ideal, but it was better than construction
I worked a lot at night because I had insomnia. I found myself driving to cope with my mental health symptoms. My family did not talk to me either because of my decision.
Ciro was not exactly on talking terms with his family either. He really wanted to move down to South Florida and open up a nightclub, like Rick in Casa Blanca.
We found ourselves going straight to the clubs on Friday, and the tracks on Saturday.
There were two racetracks in the city back then. Suffolk Down, which was the larger horse track and right on the Boston line, and Wonderland, which was the smaller greyhound park near the beach.
When one track shut down the other opened. The two complemented each other very well.
The Revere area was like a little Vegas at the time. One never needed to go to Boston on the weekend, we had it all in our own city. It was a beautiful time in the southern North Shore region of Massachusetts.
I once asked Ciro at Suffolk Downs how his week was. He said he didn't want to talk about it. I asked why, he said that he is dealing with toxic chemicals from weapons of mass destruction, and to top it off he had an animal yelling and screaming at him all day.
It was at that time that I realized I made the right decision of becoming a cab driver instead of joining the union. It is a decision that I never regretted.
Despite the fact that I never know who I am going to pick up at 12:00 in the morning and the streets can be so unpredictable at midnight in such a violent city. The safety of not being on a work site makes all the difference in the world.
By 1977 the city was once again booming after the amusements initially burned down a few years earlier.
The scorched amusements were being cleared, and in a few years, they would be replaced by high rises. Suffolk Downs and Wonderland were hitting all-time highs.
The city was transforming into a boomtown. At the center of it all was Tony Sicilian, Tommy Florence, and Joe Neoplitan.
Three Revere area powerbrokers that virtually owned city hall. The streets of Revere ran two ways at the time. There's and our's. The broken political system that ran the city of Revere, Suffolk County, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the rest of the free world.
Then there was the working man who finances the whole system by giving all of our money to the tax man. Then there were the ones who spent the money at the clubs and tracks that the broken system own, like us.