Friday, July 16, 2010

James the Watermellon Man

No that title is not a typo. It is the unique marketing strategy of James the Watermellon Man. Yesterday while driving through DeLand, I saw this sign on the side of the road. I had to stop and check it out, I mean wouldn't you?

I found a small house with a big shady yard. Lots of cars and children's toys scattered around. Several men sitting in lawn chairs under a tree. I approached the yard and yelled out "How much are the watermelons?"

"You'll have to ask him" came the reply from one of the shade sitters as he pointed toward the house. There was a screened in porch and with the sun in my eyes, I couldn't see anyone inside. Then I heard the voice of James the Watermellon Man.

"Come on up. Try a piece. Ice cold watermelon!"

On the sign near the porch it listed the price of the watermelons as 150 dollars. Oops, I think he meant $1.50.


"How many you want? You can get two for $2.50. I've even got them ice cold" said an older Black gentleman dressed in a bright colored shirt who emerged from the porch. "I'm James. James the Watermellon Man."

I let James know I only wanted one and I didn't need a cold melon as I was traveling all day. James pointed to the pile of watermelons and said I could take my pick. Then he asked "What you taking pictures for?"

Truth is I thought the misspelled signs everywhere were charming, but I didn't want to tell him his spelling lacked something to be desired. So I told him that I had a website and I wanted to let my friends know where to get their watermelons, so that's why I was taking pictures. Which as you can see is the truth.

I picked my melon, gave James $2 and told him to keep the change.

"Let your friends know to stop by and get their watermelon from James!" he shouted as I left. I assured him I would.

You can find James, a great entrepreneur I think, at the corner of South Adelle Avenue and Beresford Avenue in DeLand. I don't know the hours of his operation, but they seem flexible. And yes, it was a great melon!


Anonymous said...

I will have to send this to all of my Deland friends.

Anonymous said...

I will have to send this to all of my Deland friends.

sissy said...

lily will be his best friend!