I have been exploring Dothan while I am still in Alabama. Plans for the closing and move in are progressing nicely for the house in North Carolina and if all goes as planned a week from tonight we will be sleeping in our new home. Now it will be on an air mattress but still – it will be in our new home. We are pretty excited and it seems like it has taken a long time to get there but hey– all good things are worth waiting for, right?
So I am trying to fit in trips to go find all of the painted peanuts in Dothan that I can. (You can read my previous posts here and here.) Some of them are a bit elusive as they are hiding inside businesses and can’t really be seen unless that business is open. I am a fan of the ones who are al fresco. Makes my picture taking much easier to not have to be tied to finding out business hours.
Today I share a few more that I have been able to view. First up is Ms. Peanut who resides inside Shute Pecan Company. Poor thing used to be the outdoor variety until a big storm picked her up off her pedestal and found her rolling along the highway. Well thank goodness she was rescued and resides inside the showroom. Another post will be coming soon about my visit there as it was a fun place with tons of great things to look at and buy. (Look closely behind her and you will get a hint as to why I loved this place.)Next up meet Road Warrior who lives inside the lobby of Dothan Power Sports. This one is a tribute to motorcyclists and is a pretty amazing work of art.
Sheriff Sam had my eye the very first time I drove through Dothan because he resides outside the Krispy Kreme Doughnut store. He keeps an eye on all the comings and goings of which there are many. I think you will agree he is pretty amazing.
Next up is another Sam of sorts. Located outside Sam’s Club Mr. Sam keeps an eye on shoppers as they come and go. The day I stopped by it was ridiculously busy and I had to wait awhile to snap a picture of him without having customers photobombing him.I found this sweet guy outside of Friend Bank and his name is Mr. Trawick. He was another icon in the Wiregrass area just like Dancin’ Dave but his speciality was boiled peanuts. Just look at this guy – I think I would have loved to have gotten peanuts from him.
Friend Bank has a pretty amazing story posted on their website. I had to find out who this man was that was featured on the corner of their lot and a quick query to my friend Mr. Google found the following which I will share with you. Thank you to Friend Bank for the great story behind the peanut.
Byron Edward Trawick was known in Dothan as “The Peanut Man.” He sold his famed boiled peanuts at different locations in Dothan for decades. Born in Barbour County, Alabama in 1928, he was no stranger to life in troubling economic times. This son of sharecroppers learned at an early age to rely on the land, the Lord, and his own personal determination to succeed. He worked in the fields with his family picking cotton, hoeing peanuts, pulling corn, and working in the sugar cane mill. It was at the age of 13 that Mr. Trawick took the peanuts that he had pulled from the ground and began boiling them to the delight of his family and friends.
Over the subsequent 68 years since that first batch, Mr. Trawick perfected his recipe and gained great wisdom in working for peanuts. As far as perfecting his recipe, he said it was no secret. He shared with many people, “First you have to get up early to start cooking, you’ve got to have green peanuts, and you must have a patient hand when stirring and adding salt.” He met his wife, Winny, at a peanut boil in Dothan in 1949. They married in 1952 and had three children, four grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.
Following Dothan’s historic snowstorm of 1993, Mr. Trawick established a vending site at the Exxon station on the corner of Highway 84 and Ross Clark Circle. The Exxon station closed in 1995 but Mr. Trawick stayed. For more than a decade he kept the site well maintained, and people continued to stop and enjoy his boiled peanuts.
In 2005 the site was purchased as the future location of Friend Bank. Joseph Johnson, the bank’s president, went to introduce himself to Mr. Trawick. Joseph recalls that when they met there was never any discussion about him moving his peanut trailer, and Mr. Trawick’s first comment was where he wanted his hookup to be. It was clear to Joseph that this site was part of Mr. Trawick, and the folks at Friend were not about to take it away from him. Dothan’s Peanut Man became part of the Friend family. He had a designated spot for his trailer, conveniently accessible to all those traveling along Highway 84 and Ross Clark Circle. When he was asked to sum up his experiences, Mr. Trawick responded, “Like I tell all my customers, hold on tight, and let the Lord ride with you.”
Sadly, in January 2009, Mr. Trawick passed away at the age of 80. A memorial was held for him in October 2009 at Friend Bank with the unveiling of a peanut statue at the very location which Friend Bank had reserved for him to sell his boiled peanuts. Family and friends attended the event and shared fond memories of Dothan’s beloved Peanut Man. (From the Friend Bank website)