Thursday, September 16, 2010

Helping Out A Merchant Seaman Get Through The Bankhead Tunnel In Mobile Alabama Fall 1964

The picture above is of Admiral Semmes. Click to enlarge. You can read about him down below. His statue is in Mobile right above Bankhead Tunnel.

Click to enlarge these photos of the Bankhead Tunnel in Mobile,Alabama.

In the picture above you can see the statue of Admiral Semmes in the background.
The picture above shows the tunnel heading east out onto the causeway.
The picture below is coming from the east heading west.

Click on the picture above to enlarge the old postcard.
Here is information on the Bankhead Tunnel.

I was driving a taxi cab in Mobile Alabama in the Fall of 1964 while waiting to go in the Peace Corps. I was 24 years old.

One night a merchant seaman approached me and asked me if I would take him back to his ship. He said he had no money but would pay me when we got to his ship. Several other taxi drivers had turned him down. He told me I could hold his watch as security.

I was nearby the Bankhead Tunnel and we would have to go through the tunnel to get to the pier where his ship was docked. I said OK.
Once we got through the tunnel he directed me to where his merchant ship was docked. I parked the cab. He told me to follow him onto the ship to so he could get the taxi fare for me.

It was dark and we made out way onto the ship and down to the galley. There were several seamen sitting around a table playing cards.
The seaman got some money from one of them and paid me the taxi fare. I gave him back his watch.

He then offered me something to eat and drink. So we sat down and watched the men play cards. One of them explained to me that the only reason he shipped out on a merchant ship was so he could play cards and gamble.

After some period of time I decided to go on back to the cab.
When I got back to the cab(it had been maybe an hour since I got out of the cab to go on the ship) I could hear the radio calling me.
The dispatcher asked me where I had been. I told him the story.
He said "You are not supposed to leave the cab". I had not told him where I was going.
I drove on back into Mobile through the Bankhead Tunnel coming out on Government Street. It had been a nice little adventure in a boring evening.