I want to take this opportunity to talk about a former village resident whose articles on village history were highly anticipated and widely read. Cabby was an institution in East Rochester. He wrote for the East Rochester Post Herald newspaper for 57 years.

Cabby, of course, was Louis Providence. He worked for many years in the East Rochester Carshops. He started working for the newspaper as a typesetter while still in high school. He died unexpectedly June 16, 1985. Thirty years ago this year. Cabby was known by virtually everyone in the village and in surrounding communities. At that time, probably no one in the short existence of East Rochester knew as much about the history of the village and especially its people, as he did.

Cabby was born in East Rochester in 1912. His parents were Dominic and Concetta Providence, who immigrated to the United States from Abruzzi, Italy. The elder Providence worked in the car shops for many years. Following Cabby's graduation from East Rochester High School in 1931, he also joined the car shops or "The Shops" as the locals called them. The younger Providence was small enough to work on the inside of cramped penthouses or cabins of the cabooses produced by the carshops. From these circumstances came the name "Cabby", which was to stick with him throughout his life.

Early in his life Cabby became interested in Democratic politics and worked energetically for the party for many years. This led in 1955 to his election as a village trustee, a post he held until 1975. During his final seven years on the village board he served as Vice Mayor.

Cabby had a wonderful sense of finding human interest events and covered many stories that might've been overlooked by other reporters. He clearly loved to "beat" or "scoop" the opposition media in publishing a story. "Cabby's Column", which he wrote, was a regular feature of the ER Harold for many years. Cabby was particularly interested in athletics and for many years was a number one fan of the high school teams. It is claimed he was the one to give the school teams the Bomber nickname. He was also a great New York Yankees fan, often making trips to New York City by train to watch his favorite team in action. Of course, as an employee of the railroad, he received a free pass.

His death at 72 came unexpectedly and saddened friends numbering in the thousands.

Jim Burlingame

East Rochester Historian