James Dozier is a pastor who discovered that job alone wasn't going to pay all the bills when he sought out a friend at a limousine company about getting a job as a driver.
“My son started college, and for that you need extra money,” Dozier said. “And that's why I started. A friend told me I would driving because I love to drive.”
Six years later, Dozier has no regrets and is loving his job at Kings Limo.
"As a chauffeur, we are torchbearers for Oklahoma City,” Dozier said. "It's very important we know what is going on in the city. We have conventioneers who want to know what can they do, where can they go. And we have people coming in looking for a place for conventions. They want to know what's good and what's bad, so I'm always trying to share the best” for their benefit and to put the city in the best light.
He loves to share stories about the city, what it was and how its downtown areas are experiencing a rebirth.
No day is the same.
“Every day is a different day,” Dozier said. “I get a lot of interaction with different people. You would be surprised at all the people who are here. I didn't know how much is going on in Oklahoma City until I started working this job. You have all the people in the oil and gas industry, the celebrities, athletes, and it's just been awesome.”
Dozier can provide a long list of the big names who have occupied the back seat of his limo, but one rises to the top.
“One of my favorites was Craig Sager, who passed away recently,” Dozier said. “He was an awesome guy. We talked all the time, we got to be friends. It broke my heart when he passed away. He was a private man, very personal. He always stayed at the Colcord, and when I would pick him up, he always brought me an apple.”
During their last visit, Sager (a sports reporter for CNN and TNT) was going chemotherapy. “I told him I was praying for him,” Dozier said. “He was believing he would get better.”
Much of Dozier's job involves listening. When it comes to dining choices, he has mastered a knowledge of the city's vast array of locally owned restaurants.
“I've had a couple of people who wanted a cheese sandwich and I took them to the Plaza District to the Mule,” Dozier said. “Some want a good hamburger, so I take them to The Garage or S&B. If they want a steak, I'll take them to Mahogany.”
Dozier has his favorite places to visit that he recommends. He likes talking about Bricktown and Midtown. But he also acknowledges the number of streets torn up for the new streetcar make for some interesting conversations.
“Right now the city is torn up,” Dozier said. “My joke is ‘Every day is going to be an adventure because I don't know which street is going to be torn up; are we on the right side or the left side?'”