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  • I was always told that I was named after a little girl named Susan who was my father's first fare every day when he drove a taxi. His father had a combination junkyard and car/taxi service in Southern New Jersey in the 1950s and 1960s. He was actually the first person in the area to put radios in his cars and had a brief jump on his competition when he could dispatch cabs remotely. Otherwise the cars had to come back to the office to get their next fare.

    My father drove the cab to put himself through college at the Rutgers campus in Camden. Every morning he would first go and pick up Susan and her mother and take Susan to school.

    In my romantic imagination, Susan was a character from a Tasha Tudor illustrated book. She wore a wool coat and had a fur muff to keep her hands warm. She was dainty and had dark, curly hair and dark eyes. She was a little girl my father would love so much that later he would choose her name for his own firstborn daughter.

    I later found out that Susan was a disabled child. She went to a special school and that is why she needed her own special ride each morning. This made me love my father even more.
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