Souvenir vendor holds back crush with own recitation

October 06, 1995|By ANN LOLORDO | ANN LOLORDO,SUN NATIONAL STAFF

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brian White delivered his own sermon yesterday to the papal throng at Giants Stadium.

"Patience is a virtue," the exasperated vendor told souvenir seekers who mobbed his concession stand in the hours before Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass.

Working alone in his booth on the stadium's mezzanine level, the 21-year-old had trouble keeping up with the demands for souvenir T-shirts, glow-in-the-dark rosary beads and commemorative books.

For nearly seven hours, Mr. White waited on customers until the Mass began at 6 p.m. Asked how his day went, the vendor replied wearily, "Rough."

Business was beyond brisk. Try battle-weary.

"I've never really been mobbed by myself," said Mr. White, who has been a vendor for four years.

Customers clamored for the $15 rosary beads. He sold out. When he ran out of everything but extra-large T-shirts, customers demanded, "What, no mediums? No smalls?"

"When people tried to cut the line, people flipped out," said Mr. White. "People were rude -- 'Give me this. Give me this.' "

"I'll get to ya, I'll get to ya," Mr. White pleaded.

Finally, he called out: "Patience is a virtue."

"After that they calmed down. People started laughing," he said.

The only other time Mr. White said he felt such pressure was during a Rolling Stones concert. "That was bad. And this was 10 times worse."

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