Henry Classen

When I was in my mid-20s I was a taxi driver for a time. One late night I picked up a fare named Henry Classen. I knew his name because he continually slurred “I’m Henry Classen and I’m from Kansas.” This refrain got tiring quite quickly.

I did have some info about Henry Classen. There are a lot of Mennonites in Kansas named Classen, and many of them are in my family tree.

I interrupted his refrain with “Did you ever know any Mennonites in Kansas?” Bingo. Henry Classen bristled, and said that if he never met another one it was too soon. Then he hit me with “You aren’t getting a tip.”

I took Henry Classen to his Single Room Occupancy Hotel. After he left I checked the back seat to ensure that it was clean for my next fare. What a surprise – Henry Classen had left me with the biggest tip of the night.

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