Honorary street name “Sam McKinley Way” was unveiled Sunday afternoon, Dec. 1, before an appreciative crowd at the Levy Center. The man being honored, who owens Best Taxi, could not attend for health reasons, though Hecky Powell said, “He would not be here anyway” because Sam McKinley prefers to stay out of the spotlight and act from behind the scenes.
Speaker after speaker spoke of the things Mr. McKinley has done for the community over the years, from buying roller skates to providing transportation for Evanston Scholars. As an example, Liz Krupkin of Evanston Scholars said that she met with Hecky Powell when Evanston Scholars began asking for assistance with transportation.
Mr. Powell immediately grabbed his cell phone and placed a call, then said, “It’s done.” Mr. McKinley arranged and paid for the first bus ride of Evanston Scholars to Augustana College and every Scholar bus ride since.
Ms. Krupkin said she knew what everyone meant when they said Mr. McKinley likes to stay out of public view. The first Scholars bus ride loaded at 5 a.m. from the ETHS parking lot. Mr. McKinley told Ms. Krupkin that he liked what he saw. “I don’t know if he was hiding behind a tree, or what,” said Ms. Krupkin, because no one saw him there.
Sam McKinley Way runs on Greenleaf Street between Florence and Dewey avenues, right by the home of Mr. McKinley’s Best Taxi. Honorary street names last for 10 years.