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Farmer's Market DuBois PA circa 1988

One of the four points of Main Street is promotions.  I like to do promotions because i have a knack for production. In DuBois there was not many chances for production.  We did the Tom Mix festival and that had a shootout and the like.

One thing that could be done in the summer was a Farmers Market.  Our farmers market was in a parking lot off the main street in town.  The traffic layout of the downtown was not the greatest and the parking lot was hidden.  So I asked them to move to a side street that intersected with the Main Street in the center of town.  I went to the meeting and these folks were not very nice to me.  They told me they were going somewhere else down on highway coming into town.

When I say they weren't nice i mean they were actually hostile to me and pretty much laughed at me like I was some chuckle head and was going to smile and nod.  So I left and told my board what happened and asked for permission to have my own Farmers Market.  It appears that this farmers group was a club and other farmers were not in the club and could not be in the market.  It took a life of its own when I started finding the other farmers.  I was a hero to them because not only were the farmers not nice to me they were really not nice to the farmers that did not belong.

So immediately I get notice that the farmers own the name DuBois Farmers Market.  I then created 2 large 3/4 inch thick sandwich board signs that went next to the highway Rt 219 said turn here for the "Original DuBois Farmers Market" and I thought that the term meant something because they were at the downtown location originally.  So I was claiming the location not the name.

I had about 6 farmers and some real nice people too. We had our first couple of weeks and we were doing land office business much more than the previous market.  the fact that the new location we located across the street from the HUD senior housing was a key item.  We had another senior center a block away.  We were rolling in in people.

In stark contrast their market was dead.  I ran ads in the paper had stories about the market and really nobody knew the difference because more of them were new.  My market was happening.

Third week the main farmer from the other group came up to see what was going on and tried to intimidate my farmers by asking them some questions about their operation. Trying to say these people went to the supermarket to buy their stuff.  I thought it was enough and asked him to move on or buy something.  As I started walking to the other side of the street he caught up with me and started to get physically intimidating.  I backed away a little and he was screaming at me in front of all the people.  I then made some low volume remarks about his wife and he blew up.  No one could hear me but he was acting like a madman.   He then threatened to "kick my ass". The next thing I told him is that he had the first punch, and then said to him do it, do, it, do it...and he realized something... some people fail to realize...if you hit someone normally they will hit back.

He realized that and just stopped and he walked away quickly.  I just looked at people shrugged my shoulders and every one went about their business again.  They did not last the summer.  Some of the old farmers came to my market and the others were just too pissed off.

I thought long and hard about the ethics of what I had done.  I think I just did not like their attitude.  In each town there is or are bullies, in this case it was the the farmers.


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