I forget the guy's name but we called him Pancho. In Argentina, they call hot dogs, panchos. So, I don't know if we called him Pancho because that was his name (a variation of Frank) or if because he sold hot dogs. He was a hot dog vender with a bona fide aluminum shinning hot dog cart, and our pops would take my sister and I to lunch at his hot dog cart every day during the summers when we went to work with him. I remember his cart used to be across the street from the fancy looking bank on the corner of Flagler and First. That was his spot, and he worked it incredibly well. These were the days before the Miami-Dade CC expansion (back when it was still a CC) and reinvention of downtown Miami, back when the arena was still a stone throws from the Mason-Dixon between downtown and Overtown.
Pancho had thick set librarian glasses and wasn't very tall. If he was Argentine, he was a provincial because his asshole quotient was always low, not unlike my father and my uncle who were two Sudacas with enough soccer knowledge to make them helium egos. Pancho always wore his socks up to his knees but always wore expensive tennis court sneakers, as if slinging hot dogs was his side gig. He wore cargo pants in the mid-80's, back only when mercenary tacticians wore them, and a plain, green apron with two pockets down the front, from which a pair of rubber-gripped tongs hung near his nuts. He usually rocked Polo shirts but had exclusive license to ones that were stripped vertically. In essence, he dressed like a dad, he dressed like my dad dressed, which is probably why I remember at all what he looked like. Also, he was not my parents' only friends that made a living selling concession. Years later my folks would befriend and go halfsies with another Argentine couple that made a living with concessions during the 80's.
I used to take advantage of the situation while scarfing down my hot dog and throw crumbs at my sister's feet because she was terrified of pigeons. They would flock to her foot and she would bug out and ask my dad to reprimand me, and I would point to the ground and signal the lack of bread evidence. It was a game we'd play partly because my dad would be so busy talking to Pancho and Pinino that he wouldn't notice my sister having an aneurysm on the corner of Flagler and First. Also, Pancho's panchos now that I think of it were mostly the sauerkraut and relish we used to balance precariously on that hot dog. And, of course, there was the selection of the sodas which turned into a feat of bravery and pain for my sister and I. By the time we came down it was well past noon and Pancho had been sitting out in the sun under a parasol for a very long time. By the time we would come down the water in the little tank where Pancho kept the sodas was as cold and painful as arctic lemonade. My sister and I would see who could keep our hands in the icy water for longer and I would invariably always lose because I am a pussy and my sister developed the ability to snap the heads off pigeons with tiny incisor kicks.
A Spanglish blog dedicated to the works, ruminations, and mongrel pyrotechnics of Yago S. Cura, an Argentine-American poet, translator, publisher & futbol cretin. Yago publishes Hinchas de Poesia, an online literary journal, & is the sole proprietor of Hinchas Press.