Interview with Myron Arledge
A limousine driver talks about working behind the steering wheel.
The Washington Post Magazine
August 12, 2001
We've driven everybody. I've driven senators, congressmen. We do beauty pageants, weddings, we do a ton of funerals. I've driven actors, actresses, models. We also do proms, anniversaries, birthday parties. I've driven many, many, many performers. I've driven ministers. I've had people in a car ask the girl to marry them. After dinner, riding down the road. You name it, we do it.
I've been in motorcades with the presidents of major countries. It's a high. You know, when you're coming out of the Blair House turning down 17th toward Constitution and you're the third or fourth car back in the motorcade and the president of a major country's ahead of you and you turn a cornerit's a kick. It's a lot of fun.
Whenever we're standing on the street, everybody always wants to know who's in the car. A thousand times a week you'll get people saying, "Are you waiting on me?" Because in their mind, there's sort of a hope. Or, "I'll be ready in a couple of minutes." Or, "Is the champagne cold?"
Many times we are asked to come in and join the people for dinner, for whatever. We rarely do that. I just feel that that's crossing over from my position to another, and I don't like that. I have a role, I have a job. I have no illusions about the fact that I drive a car. I provide a service.
I would much rather drive the chairman of a major corporation or the CEO than the regional manager from someplace that's just getting started. 'Cause generally, the CEO has established himself. He's not trying to prove anything. Some guy that it's the first time he's come up to be in a limousine or a sedan, he'll take his bag and put it on the sidewalk or something just to let us know he's an important guy.
You know what you do with him? You just say "Yes, sir." "Thank you very much." "No, sir." "Where are we going now, sir?" Whatever. Love 'em or hate 'em, they're still out of town in three days.