Harold “Cook” Dixon knows Durham’s roads

By Jalen Dixon
NCCU Staff Writer
the Durham VOICE


There are many roads in life: some short, some long, but certain people choose all the roads to travel along every day. As a cab driver and businessman, Harold Dixon can say his knows every main street and avenue in Durham.

Harold Dixon of Durham sits waiting in his cab. He’s always ready to help someone get where they need to go. (Staff photo by Jalen Dixon)

Harold Dixon, known to many as “Cook”, has been a cab driver in Durham close to 40 years.

“I’ve seen it all any and everything,” says Dixon.

Dixon was born in Durham on May 26, 1951. He was the oldest of nine siblings and graduated from Hillside High.

The one thing Dixon remembers from his childhood is the time spent with his father.

His father, Willie Dixon, Jr., is the reason why Dixon Cab Company is here. He eventually passed the business on to his son who keeps it as dependable now as it was in the early days.

“He used to drive cabs when I was a little boy and I just enjoyed being with dad,” said Dixon.

Dixon Cab was originally its own taxi service, but now it works alongside ABC Taxi Company.

“I started at 21, working with my dad dispatching cabs,” said Dixon. “Me and my dad always worked together. We had a TV shop to start with on West Chapel Hill Street, Dicks TV Service.”

Dicks TV Service led to the beginning of Dixon Cab which started with 12 cab drivers. The remaining cab drivers are Harold’s brothers, Butch and Rolan Dixon.

Dixon says most of his clientele are hardworking people. He says his main focus is to extend his service to disabled people who don’t have cars. He has been busy throughout the community, the navy blue Dixon cab can be seen all over Durham.

“As long as I been riding with him, it’s been good,” says Keisha, a Durham resident who preferred not to use her full name. “His services are fine, very dependable,” said another customer.

Good friend and fellow cab driver, Tim Riley praises Dixon as well. “He’s a good man,” said Riley. “I’ve been doing this with him for a long time.”

Dixon describes this job as similar to fishing: you have to have patience. Of course his main objective is to get his passengers where they need to be.

“Good days are when you get $100 to $200 and those days are the first, the third and a few others,” said Dixon. “An average day is $100 or less. Bad days are when nobody is riding no trips at all,” said Dixon.

But as any other, bad days are expected.

“Sometimes they get out the cab and run, proposition the fare. They have all kinds of ways of getting over,” said Dixon.

“And you can’t trust nobody. If you don’t have the money, you don’t go,” Dixon laughed.

One aspect of his job Dixon likes is his individualism. “I enjoy being my own man,” said Dixon. “If there’s nothing out, you can go home.”

People are always going to have somewhere to go and there will be people to provide assistance in getting you to your destination. “I’ll take people anywhere they want to go,” said Dixon. “Want to go to Atlanta? Let’s ride. Cab drivers, we’ll do that.”