Skip to main content

Hey! Hey!

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.


Taralyn said…
...Suddenly I need another lamp.

Popular posts from this blog

Old US 101; the San Juan Grade

While researching maps for California State Route 183 I noticed something interesting on the 1935 County Highway maps for San Benito and Monterey County.  From what it appeared it seems that there used to be a state highway running from US 101 south on San Juan Highway, through San Juan Bautista, south over the San Juan Grade to Salinas.  It turns out what I discovered was an a very old alignment of US 101 which was replaced by 1932.

The information relevant to the history of US 101 over the San Juan Grade is as follows:

-  The San Juan Grade was built in 1915 which presumably replaced Old Stage Road from Salinas to San Juan Bautista.  Presumably this was part of alignment adopted as Legislative Route 2 from San Francisco south to San Diego in 1909.  This history can be seen on 1931 edition of the California Highways and Public Works Journal and on

1931 Highways and Public Works Journal

CAhighways on LRN 2

-  By 1926 the San Juan Grade became part of US 101.  The San Jua…

The Tioga Pass Road

Last Summer the Tioga Pass Road over the Sierras in Yosemite National Park opened late due to the heavy snow pack during the previous winter.  Approaching the start of July the Park Service finally had cleared Tioga Pass, I headed up shortly after the 4th of July holiday during a lull in the tourist season.

The Tioga Pass Road runs from the Big Oak Flat Road east to US Route 395.  The Tioga Pass road is largely within the boundary of Yosemite National Park but is also partially on California State Route 120 east of the Tioga Pass entry station to US 395.  The Park Service maintained portion of the Tioga Pass Road serve as a implied connection between the two segments of CA 120.  The Tioga Pass Road is the highest road mountain pass in California with Tioga Pass which lies at 9,945 feet above sea level.

The Tioga Pass Road is very old with the eastern section up Lee Vining Canyon to the Tioga Mine being built in 1883.  The connecting section of the Tioga Pass Road from Big Oak Flat R…

California State Route 49, The Golden Chain Highway (CA 16 north over Yuba Pass to CA 89)

After completing California State Route 124 I took CA 16 to the eastern terminus to start my first Trans-Sierra route; California State Route 49/Golden Chain Highway over Yuba Pass.

As stated I joined CA 49 from the eastern terminus of CA 16 in Amador County.  CA 49 actually begins in Madera County to the south in Oakhurst at CA 41.  CA 49 is about 295 miles long and travels most of the traditional 1849 Gold Rush Country north from Oakhurst to CA 70.  If you want history and old towns then CA 49 is one of the best routes on the West Coast to see both.

To the north of CA 16 the next major junction is Signed County Route E16 in Plymouth which is on Shenandoah Road.  E16 is a 33.2 mile route which travels northeast to US 50. 

Plymouth dates back to the 1850s and is mostly known for a winery that dates back to 1856.  These photos are from Main Street looking west.

CA 49 generally is very rural and doesn't deviate much from when it was first signed back in 1934.  While CA 49 isn'…