Now this may seem off topic(or not) for this blog; but I figured it's worth noting. Recently Adam Prince and Billy Riddle made a road trip to Montgomery, AL; clinching highways and counties was the order of the day, as it always is with any East Coast Hive Mind roadtrip; but another objective was to go to Flea Market Montgomery and meet Sammy Stephens: the gent in the video above. Now, not only did they get to meet Sammy, but Sammy graciously took some of his time to shoot a short video with Adam and Billy.
Now this might not strike you as a particularly momentous event or anything; but it impresses me. Now we all know somebody like Sammy-a crazy kind of goofy dude who's hard not to like. And we might dismiss such a person, 'Yeah, he's crazy'-and not think much of him. In doing so, you miss something: Now Sammy caught Adam's fancy sometime back, and Adam had been noting him in the Roadgeek IRC chat. That, of course lead to the road trip and so on. Now North Carolina, and for that matter, Tennessee aren't exactly round the corner from Central Alabama. Here you have this guy who has intrigued people enough that they have to see what he's about. And they'll travel a distance to do it.
You see, Sammy Stephens has a hustle going here-not a bad hustle; but a pretty cool one. The man is a salesman, and like any good salesman, he knows the main product he's selling is himself. Even if someone doesn't actually buy anything from him, there is still the experience that is related, and that sets up the potential for Mr. Stephens to sell you a lamp or chair. You're compelled to go to Flea Market Montgomery, and hey, while you're there, why not pick up a little something for your place?
Mr Stephens has managed to parlay his ebullient personality into something that is beneficial to him; and at virtually no cost. He says it himself in the video I linked to-'people come from all over the world to see Flea Market Montgomery'. Actually, they come to see him; but as it happens in a situation like this, it's not about ego. People like this don't need to falsely pump up their ego. There's an important lesson in this, which I'm sure most of the public misses: that hard work and hustle and an honesty about yourself will make the day. Mr. Stephens seems to understand that concept quite well, and for that, he deserves respect, and all the free advertising.