As soon as I walked out of Penn Station and hailed a taxi, I got a taste of the pope-mania that has taken over New York. My cab driver, Kenneth, who is not Catholic, told me as we drove to the media center at the Sheraton Hotel that the pope "has some good lessons" to teach. Then he went on to say that there's a "nice spirit" enveloping New York, as evidenced by the fact that there really were no terrible traffic problems today -- at least not for him -- despite road closures surrounding papal events.
Kenneth told me that New York "needs a big blessing" and then said that, despite not being Catholic, he watches EWTN regularly and would love to get to see the pope one day, and maybe even get to Rome.
About half-way through our drive, he stopped and said, "I got so excited talking about the pope, I forgot where you're going." Luckily, I was keeping tabs and we weren't even close.
I told him that I'd written a book about the Church's teachings (The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Catholic Catechism) and that if he waited two seconds when I got out of the cab, I'd give him a copy. He was so happy, which made me so happy. What a great way to start my papal visit weekend. This was the first book -- and probably the last -- that I've signed 7th & 53rd underneath my name. I figure a cabbie may forget a name or even a face, but he probably won't forget an address -- at least not a second time.
-- Mary DeTurris Poust