Know Your Neighbor. Love Your Neighbor. - Bob “Lorain Avenue’s Hotdog Vendor”

Bob operating his hot dog stand on Lorain Ave. at Fulton. You don't even have to leave your car to get a dog!

Photo credit: Billy Delphs

His name is Bob. There’s a fantastic chance you know who he is already. Better yet, there is a fantastic chance that you know of him already. After all, we are learning together that to be “known of” and to be “known” are two different things. Our goal with this project is to put names to the faces, and share stories that go along with the individuals.

Bob is much more than a hotdog vendor. Talking with Bob I realized that he is sort of a quiet staple. He is a sponge. He stands at one of the most highly trafficked spots on Lorain Ave., right in front of the Unique Thrift Store and gets to know the community. He told me, “In order to do this job, you really need to like people. I’m a people person.” Bob was born and raised in Cleveland, so like many of us is out there dedicated day in and day out, rain or shine for the most part. Not sure if you noticed but he was out there all winter as well. “I think I only missed ten days.”, he tells me, as the sirens blazed by.

He is a man we can learn lessons from. As the sirens blazed past us he told me about how he sees everything that happens. Between the “mini skid row” as he calls it with the homeless hang out a couple blocks down, the drugs and prostitution surrounding, and even witnessing the bank across the street being robbed, Bob has decided to be a man for the people. Many vendors might leave the area but he is devoted to the regulars, devoted to the community, and devoted to making new friends. He admits at the same time he looks forward to retirement. I hope he sticks around. He is a man with a lot of good stories to share. He also told me a secret about corned beef in Cleveland. You’ll have to find that one out from him though.

I learned you can pull up to him like drive through. As a lady swung through to grab a polish boy on the go he told us his favorite joke to ask customers is, “Is this for here or to go?” That was the moment the thought hit me, “I should probably sit on this guard rail and make it for here more often.” Let’s keep taking time to know and be known by our neighbors. After all, our neighborhood is a beautiful place with beautiful people. But we never know it until we do more than scratch the surface. Thanks for the lesson Bob.

Ron Kent II

I am a pastor of Cleveland. I love all people. Every class, race, color, socioeconomic status i love us all. I love justice. I love my wife. I want to see peace and unity overwhelm the city. I want to see justice for the marginalized. Leadership held accountable. I want to see everyone grow becasue everyone has inherent value as a human. 

I love learning. I love writing and making music and art to try and make it all happen. 

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Volume 1, Issue 1, Posted 4:34 PM, 03.24.2016