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4 The Daily Tar Heel Thursday. October 27. 1977
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Roadside stand delights shoppers
It's pumpkin pie time and apple cider season
By SYLVIA INGLE
"They say I got the best punkins around,"
bragged the old man, smiling with a
toothless grin. "And come Saturday and
Sunday, you better watch out 'cause I'm
gonna make a big effort to sell 'em all."
Speaking was W.A. Davis, the 72-year-old
entrepreneur whose front yard on U.S. 15
50 1 is strewn with hundreds of bright orange
pumpkins. Halloween is his biggest season,
and this year Davis hopes to top his sales of
"The weekend before Halloween last
year " he said, "1 had to get four helpers to
take care of all the people out here. I made
$1,000 in two days."
Davis and his partner, Onnis Perry of
Durham, harvested over 9,000 pumpkins
this year on 10 acres of land they lease in
Wake County. Their pumpkins and other
produce also are sold at stands on N.C. 86, at
Glen Lennox and at South Square in
Durham. Davis' house is by far the most
colorful of the produce stands, however.
The white frame house sits back from the
road, a distinct contrast to modern Foxcroft
Apartments and the busy Eastgate
intersection. Two broken-down recliners sit
on the front porch along with a rusty
charcoal grill. Smoke curls upward from the
chimney. By the highway, a pumpkin sits on
an overturned bushel basket, Davis' only
The sellinu atmosphere is casual, to say the
least. Pumpkins are brought in by the
truckload and literally dumped in the front
yards. Customers park their cars by the
highway and. accompanied by Davis,
wander through the pumpkins.
"This one here." he explained, pointing to
the green stem, "ain't cured out yet. You try
and make a pie out of this one and it'll be
right bitter. But in another week or so it'll be
What about the cost of these fine
pumpkins and expert advice?
"Anywhere from 50 cents to $5," he
answered. "1 sell 'em by the punkin'. not the
Davis also sells homemade apple cider
shipped in from Virginia, and he says it's a
favorite with the football crowd.
"I sold slam out of cider last Friday and
Saturday night," she said, leaning a littler
closer. "I hear tell you can put a little vodka
in it and make a good drink."
The Chapel Hill native claims never to
touch a drop of alcohol himself and
attributes his long life to his abstinence and
l Hon do to
They're too llashy."
GEORGE BURNS '
2:30 (rC!Il W ENGRAVED 8
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Y buttons 3 large, 4 small; with 9:15 l7
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) weeks for delivery) $17.50. 3:30 :fM 107 wdbs and Ram Theatre
j g.3Q :: Announce THE CLASSICS ':
I tf5 7!n S Rita Hayworth,
V i J(8-SV DOW'T0WN, 0 7-30 y. Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
U Q ..-IJ I THERE'S MORE AT YOUR
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DEC. 31. 1977
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hard work. For years, he worked on dairy
farms around the county and more recently
ran a gas station next to the Tar Heel Car
Wash in Carrboro.
"I quit that about four years ago when the
gas shortage come, and I been foolin' around
with my punkins ever since," he said.
After the Halloween season tapers off.
Davis will sell oranges, tangerines and other
produce he gets from the Farmer's Market in
Raleigh. Every year, he closes his stand
around Christmas and from then until the
first of May spends his time chopping
firewood to store for next winter.
"When May rolls around, it's time to get
cranked up again for my summer season," he
Davis likes his work and enjoys meeting
the people who stop by his house.
"I try to make up all friendly with them,"
he said. "And they don't ever give me no
"I leave my punkins right out here all the
time and this year 1 only lost three. 1 have to
watch my cider though. I lock it up tight at
Last fall, Davis said, a group of children
from North Carolina Memorial Hospital
came down to buy small pumpkins to make
"They rolled and tumbled all through
these punkins and had the best time," he
said. "And when they left, 1 gave 'em a half
bushel of my good eating apples to take with
Davis got up and helped a young student
pick a large firm pumpkin for her dorm
"That'll be two dollars," he said as he
carried it to her car. "Thank you and you be
sure you come back."
Charley Cook, the 10-year-old son
of Mr. and Mrs. Charles J. Cook,
tests his strength with one of the
largest pumpkins he could find at
W. A. Davis's pumpkin sale last
weeK.t2nu. ne may nui ue auio
hold it up for long, but at
least he.'s having better
luck than his one-and-a-half-year-old
above. Staff photos
by ( Joseph Thomas
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Adidas, the shoe the athletes
choose. From our collection,
Shooting Star Low Cut.. .13.95
University Mall in Chapel Hill
01 j V iW
Every Thursday Night
405 W. Rosemary St.
RLL NEW 1977-1978
LOOK FOR ITI
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