TexasEscapes.comTexas Escapes Online Magazine: Travel and History
Columns: History, Humor, Topical and Opinion
Over 1800 Texas Towns & Ghost Towns
NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : TEXAS HOTELS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES : : SITE MAP : : SEARCH SITE
HOME
SEARCH SITE
ARCHIVES
RESERVATIONS
Texas Hotels
Hotels
Cars
Air
Cruises
 
 Texas : Features : Preservation
THE BUDA* TAXI

If London Bridge can be in Arizona,
why shouldn't the Buda Taxi be near Smithville?

by Norman Conquest

*rhymes with Bermuda
Buda Taxi
The Buda Taxi at its former location (1998)
Photo Courtesy Don Hallock

During our last visit to Buda we noticed something was missing. It was a major landmark of downtown Buda. It was the old Buda Taxi and it wasn't there anymore.

The taxi was there the first time we saw Buda. It sat for years in front of Don's Den Antiques. We grew used to seeing it there. It was proof that after the long winding mile and a half from I-35, we had finally reached the center of town. We never got around to ask anyone about it. And now we were sorry.

It sat there as an enigma. A screaming yellow haiku. A Zen poem with the meter running. What is the sound of one tire squealing?

Was it for real? Did Don receive calls over a wall-mounted telephone and close up shop to take Mrs. Sizemore to the grocery store? It was doubtful, but there it was. Even if its name was put on the door with electrician's tape, if it said Buda Taxi, why question it? It was a taxi. It was in Buda. Case closed.

Now the word Taxi by itself is mysterious. It is known in every language, yet no one knows where it originated. Buda is said to be a corruption of the Spanish word "Viuda" or widow. When you put them together you have a perfect balance of vowels and consonants in each four letter word. When you spell Buda Taxi backward, you get Ixatadub, which would fit right in on a Yucatan map and would in fact be easier to pronounce than many Mayan villages.

Just yesterday, while disoriented in the Lost Pines of Bastrop County, we spied a yellow car parked in front of a cluster of antique stores at Alum Creek. This Hwy 71 landmark resembles a frontier settlement and has for nearly 30 years. Closer examination showed that the yellow car was indeed the legendary Taxicab of Buda.

Now going through the cluster of antique stores in broad daylight was like the deserted desert fort scene in Beau Geste. But instead of finding dead Legionaires, we found two interesting, and very alive people. Although in separate shops, both were reading, and both had dogs within petting range. To add to the coincidence, they were both married. And to each other!

They were Adam Monroe, Bookseller, and his wife Merle, who runs Merle's Shoppe which is full of antiques ranging from doorknobs to reasonably priced old prints. Adam is currently at war with silverfish and is perfecting his bookbinding skills. Merle is busy reading Adam's books, to insure that they are indeed "used". Daisy Mae, Freckles and Nana are in charge of Canine Leisure Activities. Merle and Adam told us to return on Friday when Don himself would be available to answer any questions about the car.

We do as we're told and Friday found us darkening the door of Don's Den. Don Hallock rose to greet us and we were surprised at his youth. When meeting antique store owners one usually expects Wallace Beery or maybe Burgess Meredith. (Louisiana antique stores usually have Strother Martin or Truman Capote look-a-likes). While we're off the subject completely, let's not forget Ruth Gordon.


Into the Den of Antiquity

Don's Den is about 60% old toys. Mostly die-cast cars, trucks, airplanes and buses which every baby boomer male would remember. These were durable toys and many are the men who now wear a Tonka-inflicted scar. The rest of the store's stock is an assortment of bottles, magazines, books, photographs, and other stuff that one finds in antique stores, except here the quality is higher and the prices are reasonable. It's definitely a store for collectors.

Back to the Taxi. It.s a 1948 6-cylinder Chevrolet and it was bought by Don from a roadside lot in Leander. It wasn't originally a taxi, but it has played one in parades. People did indeed ask Don to drive them to San Marcos when he was in Buda, and that's when he had to tell the truth about the car. Besides, the meter was in the trunk and the Buda Taxi-Inspector's Office frowns on that sort of thing.

The car sports a hood ornament of a winged chrome nymph with wings that light up. Picture Tinkerbell with breast augmentation. Other touches include a pair of vise-grips to control the window mechanism and a sun visor with pin-up girls literally pinned up to the visor's fabric with pins. Although the car sat in Buda for 14 years, it still runs like a top and Don says getting parts is no problem.

The future of the Buda Taxi

Don has moved to Smithville because it reminds him of what Buda used to be like. It also has an airfield which allows him to park his plane. The relocation necessitates a name change for the cab, but the four-letter-word balance won't be disturbed. Only two letters will be changed making it: The Alum Taxi.

2000
Copyright John Troesser

 
HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | TEXAS HOTELS
TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES

Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South | West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | MAPS

TEXAS FEATURES
Ghosts | People | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII | History | Black History | Rooms with a Past | Music | Animals | Books
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators | Lodges | Museums | Stores | Banks | Gargoyles | Cornerstones | Pitted Dates | Drive-by Architecture | Old Neon | Murals | Signs | Ghost Signs | Then and Now
Vintage Photos

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | HOTELS | USA | MEXICO

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Recommend Us | Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
Website Content Copyright 1998-2008. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: July 22, 2010