Monday, February 8, 2010
I had an email from a cousin containing a funny article about being in Miami for the Superbowl. Part of it was tongue-in-cheek about transportation, which somehow triggered my memory of the Jitneys in Miami when I was a teenager.
While the ones I knew were not as colorful as the one pictured above, they were great fun! We could take the city bus to downtown Miami, but to get to Miami Beach you took a Jitney for 25¢. They looked kinda like stretch limos, but not nearly so nice. In fact some were pretty beat-up.
We took the Jitney over so we could go to Wolfies or Pumpernicks, two of the great Jewish Deli's on Miami Beach. They had the most incredible desserts anywhere.
But what was really fun was the wild assortment of people in the Jitney, usually 8-10, and all the strange stuff they carried along.
While I never saw any live chickens, I saw lots of wannabe chicks, often coming from the Dog Tracks. Usually they were old ladies in quasi-casual clothing with their stockings around their ankles, and a wad of cash in a paper bag, fumbling for a quarter for the Jitney. Of course, there were all sorts of working people, too... waiters in black pants, white shirt, and a tie in their pocket... maids carrying unknown bulky items in large brown paper bags, and the beach bums all smelling like Coppertone.
It was a great time to be a people-watcher!