Back in the late 1950s, our company office was located at 1112 I Street in downtown Sacramento. For many years, we had a company pet, a black mutt called “Union,” named after our company’s previous name, Union Taxi.
Union spent a lot of time in the Yellow Cab shop and made friends all over downtown. Every now and then, we’d see him walking down the sidewalk alongside a perfect stranger. Every few days Union would walk the half block to 12th and I streets, where there was at that time a neighborhood tavern called Rose’s Bar and Grill. Union didn’t have pockets, so he never had any money. But we suspected every now and then that some of the patrons might buy him a beer. My dad went down one time to see what Union was up to, and the bartender said, “Fred, I have to serve everybody that walks in.” Whenever my dad came home with Union, the first thing the dog did was jump out of the car, run to the backyard, and dive into the pool. He loved the water.
Union lived a good long life, and one day, sometime around 1960, he died of natural causes. The Yellow Cab drivers had grown so fond of him, they told my dad that we should hold a funeral for him. So we did. We bought a small casket for Union, and a 40-cab procession carried him out to the Sacramento Pet Cemetery on Gerber Road to be laid to rest. It was such an unusual occurrence that we even made the Channel 10 news. A few years ago, we went out to the pet cemetery, and Union’s headstone is still there.
Yellow Cab Sacramento is now located on busy Richards Boulevard, and we no longer have a company pet. But Union made a lot of friends for Yellow Cab, gave our employees and drivers a lot of enjoyment, and played an important role in the success of our company. RIP, Union.