Leszek Humienik, "legendary" taxi driver | Bleader

Leszek Humienik, "legendary" taxi driver


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First-person accounts from off the beaten track, as told to Anne Ford

I used to drive for American Taxi, and I from the beginning

treated it as a serious business. At the beginning of the 90s, the idea was to have a piece of junk for taxi. There were two taxi cars only, Chevy Caprice and Crown Victoria. These cars are not reliable. I had a better car—Acura Legend.

I took care of that Legend in a really meticulous way. I never had to tow my car, and my car never quit on me. My colleagues at American Taxi were changing cars like gloves. If they made 250,000 miles, that was a miracle. I reached half a million miles in 2001.

After September 11, I decided to start from the scratch, and I left American Taxi. Libertyville Acura dealership took the Legend from me. They gave me a very good deal on Acura MDX. That's how the Legendary Private Car Service was born. After driving the MDX for one year, there was a recall on transmission. I decided to buy again a Legend, and that's the car I'm driving today, with 370,000 miles already on it.

I don't know if I will make half a million miles again. I do three jobs right now. I drive, I work on cars of people I know, and then sometimes I shoot pictures and do videography and produce concerts. As a driver, I met this senior producer with CNN. He would hire me for a whole day to drive him and to help with the gear and the equipment. That's what got me into production—Legendary HD Video Productions.

As a young man in Poland, I went to seminary, studying theology. I did English on my own. I got from Polish deejay some books about the Beatles, and I did two hours translation of English every day.

After four years, I decided that seminary was not for me, and that I wanted to have a family. Then I fall in love and got married. The same year, 1989, we decided to leave for United States, the land of opportunities. I came to America with one suitcase and a wife who was eight months pregnant. The idea was for our daughter to be born here and to be here for two years. To live in Krakow, that was our dream. But the dream didn't work out too well, because by the time we knew it, our daughter already started school. Time went, went, went.

I'm here 22 years without one trip back to Poland. If I could, I would sell my house right now just to go there for one month. My parents said, "We are waiting for you. We are trying not to die."


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