NEW ORLEANS -- "I have oranges and bananas! I have cantaloupe!"
You can hear him coming from down the street.
With his PA system and his recognizable truck that travels local neighborhoods selling produce, Mr. Okra is a New Orleans icon.
Southern Living has named Mr. Okra, aka Arthur Robinson, as one of the magazine's Southerners of the Year.
The website notes that Robinson has been selling produce since he was 15 years old when he went out with his father on a horse and buggy.
He's 75 years old now and has had some health problems over the past year. His customers got together several months ago and raised more than $12,000 on a GoFundMe page.
Here's what Southern Living had to say about our city's favorite produce vendor:
I’ve got peaches and bananas. I’ve got eatin’ pears and apples. I’ve got watermelon.” It’s a familiar call to New Orleans residents who buy produce from Arthur Robinson. Known as Mr. Okra, he drives his hand-painted Ford F-150 through the city’s neighborhoods, carrying boxes full of fruits and vegetables for sale in his custom, shelved truck bed. He announces the day’s offerings over a PA system rigged on his roof. Mr. Okra has been bringing fresh produce to the city since he was 15 years old, originally going out with his father, who traveled by horse and buggy. Now 75, Mr. Okra has experienced health issues over the past year, but his loyal customers rallied to pay his bills and repair his truck. A GoFundMe page raised over $12,000 in two months to keep this New Orleans personality rolling.
The magazine also named New Orleans' own Alison Fensterstock, Randy Fertel, and David Freedman as Southerners of the Year for their work in developing a walking tour app to highlight our city's rich culture.