Company Pet Played Important Role in Yellow Cab History

Yellow-Cab-Sacramento-Blog-Dog-UnionBack 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.

Yellow Cab Sparked More Than One Romance

Yellow-Cab-Sacramento-Blog-RomanceOur Facebook friend Darla Arreola wrote last week to share a wonderful story about Yellow Cab. Her mom and dad met when her dad was a Yellow Cab driver in the 1950s. “That’s how my dad and mom met; he was a cabby, and she was a passenger. That was 1954 and they married in 1954. I was born in 1955. Love Yellow. He worked there till he passed in 1961.”

Darla’s story is wonderful because it is so similar to my story. My father started driving in 1938 and did so until he was drafted into the Army Air Force in January of 1942. After the war, he went to work for Union Taxi (which later became our company, Yellow Cab Co. of Sacramento).

My mother worked as a phone operator for Pacific Telephone at 14th and J. In those days, Pacific Telephone used taxis as a safety precaution to transport their female operators home if they worked nights. Taxi drivers would transport three or four operators home as a shared ride to their prospective homes and were required to wait until the female operators were inside their homes and safe. Violation of this policy would likely have resulted in the taxi driver being prohibited from working the Pacific Telephone account.

One evening in early 1946, my dad picked up my mother and two other girls who had worked the night shift as operators. My mom caught my dad’s eye, and he asked her out. The courtship was not long, as was often the case in those days. They were married later in 1946, and I was born in December of 1948. I was later joined by two sisters and a brother. My dad went on to own Yellow Cab (and Union Taxi) in 1960. Our parents were married until my mother’s death in January 1994, which saddened Dad for the rest of his life.

Thank you for your story, Darla. It is possible that I might have known your dad. I started cleaning restrooms at the cab company and washing taxis during the summer of 1960. (Not by choice!) My brother and I were dragged down to the Yellow Cab offices, then located at 1112 I Street, and put to work. I was only 11 or 12 at the time, but I knew a lot of the drivers—perhaps even your dad! I guess you could say, Darla, if it weren’t for Yellow Cab, we might never have been a gleam in our fathers’ eyes!