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The Journey Continues

The Journey Continues: Adventures of a Ride-share Driver

Sunday, September 12, 2021

My journey this week took me to Charlie Campise, a Christian brother and old friend. I asked him to share his journey as the guest columnist.

“I start with the words that life is a blessing bestowed by the Creator. Indeed, my whole life has been a blessing. I have overcome numerous birth defects in my years. I was born in Houston as the grandson of immigrants from Poggio Reale, Sicily, who came from an Italian settlement near Bryan in the late 1880s. My Mom was told that I would not see the second day of my life on Sept. 27, 1941.

“A person with disabilities was often deemed useless to society and limited in opportunities back in the days when I was growing up. All too often, I heard the statements: ‘You can never be this, never be that; never do this, never do that.’ However, the elders at our church which I first attended believed I was destined to become a member of the clergy because, as they saw it, that lot in life is ready-made for a life free of stress and full of leisure. God used their direction to help me consequently face every challenge put before me.

“After my retirement in June 2014, from my last employment (44 years’ service to the foster care system in Texas), I began looking for something fun to do. On the fourth day of retirement, I signed up with a ride-sharing company, and now have part time employment as a driver for Uber ‘because I can.’ I remembered my Uncle Angelo Zinanti, who was a veteran of WWII and a taxicab operator in Houston, for 30 years. I thought ‘If Uncle Angelo can, Charlie can, too.’ Therefore, the email name under which people seeking a ride connect with me begins: charliecantoo@

“It has always been a motivation in my life that I could spend part of, or even a full day, in the service of other people. My career as a driver began back in 1968 when I met Ofelia Vasquez. That fine lady recruited me to drive the old folks in Kyle to appointments in San Marcos that had been set up by The Community Action Agency. Ofelia called on me because she knew that I was serving Christians in a locale that was a bedroom community and most weekdays, the able-bodied people left town daily to work at the Job Corps, or in Austin or San Antonio. There was a struggle to find someone to drive other folks to appointments, and she always told me: ‘You are readily available.’

“I am now in my eighth year as a ride-share driver, working only for Uber. I have given rides to more than 30,000 people who represent more than 70 different nations; I will have made 13,000 trips by the end of 2021. The blessing of life bestowed upon me by my Creator keeps me going. I have dedicated my driving for the last four years with the expressed purposed of keeping Texas State University students safe on all their adventures. I have transported students to the emergency room of our local hospital when they had no funds to pay the EMS... I have given them rides from the downtown Square after midnight on Jan. 1. I have carried students soaked by a driving rainstorm from their dormitory, to their place of work or to the bus/train station so they could leave town to spend a day or two with family… I have rescued female students after midnight from ‘The Kissing Alley’ (where they eagerly awaited my arrival while trying to flee from pushy males). To each one of these students, and to those yet to come, I can share my favorite statement as an Uber driver: I say, ‘You came here to the University for two reasons: One is to get a good education and the other is to have a good time in a safe manner. I am here to help you with the safety part.’”

Charlie Campise’s life verse is Matthew 25:40 (KJV) The words of Jesus, “…Verily I say unto you inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Note: You can purchase Adventures Of A Rideshare Driver on Amazon Prime, or via email:

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666