By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)
Throughout the summer months, the man in this photo brings refreshment — and certainly a little bit of joy — to people in our Avondale neighborhood and beyond.
I don’t know; but when I hear the sound of bells breaking the silence of an afternoon, I frequently race out of the house to purchase a few lime, mango or strawberry frozen treats. Given his weathered face and hands, it’s apparent that this American worker logs a long day.
On a bike ride earlier this summer, I witnessed the man with his cart a good mile-plus north of our home. He is employed by the Paleteria Arco Iris, a shop located a few blocks north of us on Belmont Avenue. In researching this post, I learned that a paleteria is an “ice lolly vendor,” and a paleta is a Mexican ice pop.
We’ve purchased frozen bars from the store in the past, but I prefer to get mine from this man, who’s always very cordial, always very welcoming. His job is simple: Stroll the sidewalks and sell a little happiness for $1 or $1.50. Yes, he performs this task with dogged persistence and pride.
Too often, we only recognize those titans of the American workforce — those women and men who make headlines or have jobs deemed important or vital to the economy or society. Often, those performing the menial or less-skilled jobs frequently fall under the proverbial radar.
So, on Labor Day 2018, I offer a salute to the Paleta Man, who assuredly will be on his rounds today, and to all American workers who are unheralded or forgotten.
Later, I will listen for the sound of the bells, signaling happiness in the form of a flavorful frozen treat. And, I will savor the ice pop, knowing that with the decline of summer days, the Paleta Man will be done for the season.
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Labor Day posts have been published on the PRDude blog over the years. Here are a few:
- A September 2011 post, offering guidance for those transitioning between jobs.
- Tactics to practice in the office, as outline in a September 2013 post.
- Advice to the Chicago Public Schools teachers, who in 2016 had threatened a strike just before the start of the school year.