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click to enlarge PHOTO BY JON KELLEY
  • Photo by Jon Kelley

When Robert Hubbard serves a hot dog, he serves a bit of kind conversation as well. And his Vermijo Street location, right around the corner from the Department of Motor Vehicles office, gives him truckloads of clients who need some cheering up.

After only three weeks of working behind a stand owned by Bernie's Catering, the vendor has become a familiar, friendly face in Colorado Springs. Instead of yelling at pedestrians, he rewards the ones who approach on their own; his customers are greeted with a smile alongside the chips and soda display.

"A lot of people come by mad," he says, smoothing out a wrapper for his next customer. "They talk about going inside and yelling at this person or that. I talk to them, try to calm them down a little bit."

If the stand-up comedy clichs about the DMV hold true, never underestimate the healing powers of a good dog, bratwurst or Polish sausage.

"Sometimes I tell people, "Get yourself something to eat. Maybe that'll make you think a little more clearly.'

"I say, speak to people," he continues. "Maybe you're having a bad day, maybe they're having a bad day. Speak to them it'll cheer both of you up. Use the voice that God gave you."

Tongs in hand, his paper wrap's ready.

"Now, what could I get for you?"

Steve Kline

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