Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hot dog cart guy rebounds from union's violence


Vendor Clinton Tarver
LANSING, MI -- Clinton Tarver, the owner of Clint’s Hot Dog Cart and Casual Catering, saw his small business thrust into the national spotlight ... when his supplies were destroyed at a pro-union protest against right-to-work legislation.

Violent demonstrators tore down a tent where Tarver was serving his dogs, he said, prompting a staff member for a local lawmaker to create an online fundraiser for the 63-year-old downtown fixture. As of Friday, more than $33,000 had been donated.

“I’m overwhelmed,” Tarver said. “The public has shown such love to me. You never know your true friends until you get down and I’ve had people I thought were pretty close to me and they’ve given me one call. You learn from your endeavors.”

Lorilea Zabadal, a staff member for Republican state Rep. Al Pscholka, established the fundraiser  after learning of Tarver’s plight. [Editor's note: Curiously, Zabadal is a vegetarian.]

“Everyone who has passed the hot dog cart knows what a kind and caring individual Clint is,” Zabadal wrote. “He never fails to bestow a smile or friendly greeting. In no way [did] he provoke this attack, nor any of the behavior displayed toward him. Regardless of your position on current legislation, rebuilding Clint's Hot Dogs is something we can all support. Please give what you can to get this deserving businessman back out there!”

Tarver, who won’t be selling dogs curbside again until March, said he’ll unveil a new hot dog cart when he does thanks to his newfound fortune.

Go here for the full story.

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