Adventures of a Rideshare Driver
by Charles A. Campise
Author Reputation Press

"It is appropriate for me to say in this book that ride-sharing is here to stay."

Campise, who made more than three thousand trips as a rideshare driver over the years in Austin, Texas, and its environs, shares a sentimental memoir of his work. The job has entailed helping in cases of distress, such as taking someone to a detox center, as well as explaining local customs and history and recommending Texas cuisine to visiting strangers. He has carried dignitaries and sleeping soldiers and once whisked a just-married couple to their honeymoon destination. His shortest fare occurred when he asked a man from New York what brought him to Austin; the man took exception to this inquiry and was dropped off after just four blocks of travel. Campise’s generosity is apparent: he helped a newly arrived Hispanic lady to unload her many packages; in his waiting times between trips, he bought a meal for a haggard-looking homeless man; and he and his wife warmly befriended a visitor from the Middle East.

Campise kept a journal while working, writing between fares. He never considered driving real work because he enjoyed it so much. His recollections are often humorous, revealing an open-hearted, sometimes open-handed attitude toward his diverse customers. The episodes presented are brief, focused on generally short encounters with clients, many of whom left him positive reviews. He offers practical tips for anyone wanting to take up this form of employment: carry paper bags, a first aid kit, hand wipes, and some assorted candies to give to customers. A few cartoon illustrations enhance the stories. Regional vignettes form a fascinating part of the narrative. A former clergyman and advocate for persons with disabilities, Campise amply communicates enthusiasm for the rideshare driver’s many opportunities—meeting people from different cultures, welcoming them to his home town, and giving them a taste of southern hospitality.

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