Roadside vendor likely to lose shop Man, 68, must move bus from Pasadena property

March 26, 1997|By Kristina M. Schurr | Kristina M. Schurr,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

At Jumpers Hole and Elvaton roads, spring has arrived for the past five years aboard an old pink school bus.

Each weekend from the vernal equinox through Mother's Day, James Teague has parked his bus -- strung with handmade birdhouses and trailing wooden wishing wells and Easter bunnies -- and hawked his wares to drivers passing through Pasadena.

But this spring is likely to be his last at the intersection.

Teague, 68, will go out of business because he cannot comply with a 1995 county law that tightened regulations on roadside vendors. Among the requirements of the new law is one that requires written permission from property owners.

Teague said he couldn't figure out how to contact the owners of the grassy lot near his home that he chose for his salesroom. He tried after the Anne Arundel Department of Planning and Code Enforcement notified him recently that he needed a roadside vendor's permit because his hucksters, or traveling salesman, permit is invalid.

The Sun used county records to find that the lot is part of Jumpers Junction Shopping Center, owned by Arundel Investors Limited Partnership.

Glenn Weisiger, vice president of Hampshire Management Co. in Morristown, N.J., which operates the shopping center, said in a phone interview that approving Teague's operation would violate Arundel Investors' leasing contract, which includes a no-competition guarantee, with its anchor stores, Metro Food Market, Kmart and Baby Superstore.

After retiring in 1992 from Pyle Fence Co. in Baltimore, Teague set up a woodworking shop on the back porch of his Suez Road home. He began burning, nailing and painting scraps of wood he got from his former employer to supplement his Social Security income.

Teague suffers from diabetes but can stay close to home and aboard a bus with a kitchen and a bathroom in his business setup. He earns about $1,000 each spring. He doesn't want to quit working but said he won't park his business elsewhere.

"I've been here so long, people know me. They come looking for me when they want a birdhouse," he said.

As he surveyed his stock of Western Ridge Cedar ornaments swinging in the sun on the first full day of spring, Teague said he realized this probably would be his last first day of business.

"What am I going to do?" he asked. "When you retire, you just can't sit down and quit. I can't live on just $700 a month. So I do this for some extra money. I don't go for welfare or food stamps.

"Give me a chance and I'll make my little money and I'll survive."

Pub Date: 3/26/97

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