78-year-old Carl Cisney is an Amish taxi driving veteran. He’s been providing rides for Amish for over 4 decades – since the time in 1975 he was asked by an Amish neighbor for a ride to a weld shop.

Carl has formed deep friendships through his taxi services, even getting invited as the only English guest (along with his wife) to Amish weddings.

Photo by Anthony Pezzotti

The work can be eventful, as detailed in a recent philly.com article:

One passenger Carl Cisney picked up in a snowstorm in 1978 was very pregnant, and then, quite suddenly, wasn’t pregnant anymore.

That little girl, born in Cisney’s van, was named Sarah, after Sarah Jane, who came to help. Carl can’t stand the sight of blood.

“I jumped out of the van and said ‘I’ll see you later,’” he said.

Despite his queasiness, Carl also once transported an Amish man to the hospital after he nailed his foot into a beam in a barn with an air hammer. The nail was so deep, he said. that the man’s co-workers cut the wood and it came to the hospital still attached. After another mishap, Carl was asked to drive two fingers, on ice in a shoe box, to a hospital after an Amish man had an accident at a pallet shop. He was too late.

Amish taxis are essentially transport services provided for the Amish, both by full time drivers and also by retirees looking for extra work.

We’ve looked more closely at the work in several past posts including An Inside Look at Amish Taxi Driving and Debbie the Amish Taxi Driver.

Carl has certain rules for his rides. I might have to implement this footwear rule when I’m doing my sporadic free taxiing for Amish friends:

Some clients have wanted to bring chickens and ducks inside for the ride. He’s always said no. Carl also insists Amish men take off their boots and put them in bags, particularly after a barn raising.

I also found this one of interest. Doesn’t matter your background, people like to talk:

Carl Cisney said he found each new customer wanted to know where the last customer had gone, a bit of Amish gossip if you will. He put up a sign by the dashboard to squash it:

“Don’t ask me where the last person went and I won’t tell the next person where you were going.”

Read the article in full here.

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