Many towns have one: an independent street vendor who legally sells wares from curb to curb. In Palm Springs, that person’s a short, Hispanic-American man, who pushes a two-wheeled cart, offering ice cream, sodas and snacks. Handing him a dollar for a bag of Cheetos during our first encounter, I was intrigued with his job. Weeks later, after learning more about his work, I was in awe.
This guy covers a lot of ground, sometimes in grueling heat. Each morning, he starts his trek on foot from the outskirts of town, meandering miles and miles through neighborhoods, with frequent stops along the way. I’ve seen him greet customers at parks, retirement villages, car washes, construction sites and soccer fields. And, each time I’ve purchased a bag of Cheetos, he offers a smile, service and appreciation. “Thank you for your business,” he always says, as I walk away crunching on the orange-colored munchie.
Recently, I approached him in a shopping center parking lot. Cash in hand, I asked for my regular guilty pleasure. “I’m sorry, none today,” he apologized after searching his cart. He then gave me a free bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. While I wasn’t crazy about the spicier version, I was impressed with his thoughtful business gesture.
Admiring his dedication and job skills (and physical stamina), I’d say he’s a candidate for The Hardest Working Man in the Desert.
And, he now refers to me as Mr. Cheeto, a title, I’ve earned, I guess!
Love and light,