Melvin Pickens (pictured) is 81 years young and blind, and even though he doesn’t need to work, he still can’t shake the strict work ethic he’s maintained for 63 years. The Little Rock, Ark., man has been selling brooms since 1950 and refuses to call it quits.
For decades, Pickens was a traveling broom salesman and managed to support his wife, who is now deceased, and his four children from his lucrative broom sales. Pickens would tirelessly sell his wares six days a week and did so with pride.
Now the sightless octogenarian does not let his handicap stop him from continuing to do what he does best: selling. According to local residents, who flock from all over to buy the simply made brooms from Pickens, he is quite the salesman.
Pickens has been described as someone who can quite possibly sell someone the island of Manhattan. One of Pickens’ customers told CBS Evening News, “He’s got a special magic about him.” Another frequent broom buyer mused, “You just can’t hardly turn him down. Not that people don’t try to say no — they just rarely get away with it.”
Watch PIckens’ delightful story here:
Folks will typically buy more brooms than they need just because Pickens is such a colorful and well-known fixture in the city.
Mary Clare Brierley, who buys her brooms from Pickens, actually wound up purchasing yet another $10 broom from him even though she didn’t need one at the time. She told CBS, “I don’t think you can approach him and [only] buy one!”
Either the city of Little Rock has the kindest consumers around or is the cleanest broom-swept city for miles. Whatever the case, Pickens is sweeping peoples hearts in a huge way.
Does Pickens plan on retiring anytime soon?
No can do! The man with the red-handled wooden brooms plans on sticking around for a long time to come. Pickens tells CBS, “You can’t quit! A quitter never wins and a winner never quits, you know.”