Insist Tropical Fruit Is Ready a Berry: Gets New Ideas, Hangs Signs on His Wagon
He also is a seller of bananas. His red horse-drawn wagon may be seen any day in the downtown or Five Points areas.
Huckster Lucas combines his philosophizing and banana selling.
When a thought comes to him he paints it on a sign and hangs the sign on the back of his wagon. That attracts attention and quite-often causes people to stop and buy bananas.
Right now his wagon sign reads: "To sale bananas is not so easy. Hard to please everybody. John Lucas. Mind Header."
He got that thought after a rather hard day of trying to please his customers.
'Some say my bananas are too green," Mr. Lucas recalled, "Some say they are too ripe. They are too this or too that. It is not so easy to sale bananas. 1 must be a mind reader to figure out what they want."
Not long ago Mr. Lucas had what seemed to be a happy inspiration. He hung out a new sign that read, 'Bananas is not fruit but berries
This caused motorists to stop They demanded that he prove a banana was a berry instead of a fruit. Some would argue that a few banana is a flower, while a few thought it was a vegetable Patiently Mr. Lucas would peel a banana and mash out, some tiny seeds.
"Just like strawberry seeds!" he would exclaim triumphantly. "That proves a banana is a berry."
But be had to change the sign. "I spent all1 my time explaining why bananas are berries," he said ruefully. "I was wasting them. I wasn't selling many."
Stirred by a shipwreck that made the headlines not long ago Mr. Lucas' painted another sign. It read, "Flying Enterprise."
Emigrating from his native Greece in 1901, Mr. Lucas wandered around the U. S. as a section hand and a waiter in Greek restaurants.
He survived the San Francisco earthquake in 1908. For years he operated an ice cream factory in Nogales. He came to El Paso in 1919 and opened a fruit stand in South El Paso.
But like the philosophers of ancient Greece Mr. Lucas liked to movie around while he thought. So he bought a. huckster wagon and a horse.
He has been driving the same wagon for 33 years and has sold nothing but bananas. Several times he has had to change the iron tires and wheels on his wagon, and he has worn out several horses.
His present horse, Nellie, has been the subject of one of his signs It read, "One horsepower motor.”
Now and then Mr. Lucas leaves Nellie and the wagon in the street and enters a nearby refreshment stand. "The more beer 1 drink the better I think," he explained.
One day he left Nellie's head pointed toward a traffic signal.
"The light changed from green to red and Nellie went on down the street," he said. "Alter that I always parked her with her head pointing away from the traffic signal. She is a law-abiding horse.'
Mr. Lucas has four children, all under five years old.
"I'm a sound man," he boasts "I'm not sure yet but I think another baby is on the way. That's why I have to work all day long now. All us Greeks live long. My father lived until he was 105. A spiritualist fellow told me I wouldlive to 95. I still have time to raise a large family."