RENICK, W.Va. (AP) – Dave Joyce lays his hands before his eyes and lurks to recognize the woman approaching from the nearby parking lot.
& # 39; Hello, & # 39; she says as she swings as she walks down the sidewalk. "It's a good day for a hot dog."
It's Ann Musser's first time at Joyce's hotdog stand. Joyce has many regulars, but quite a few new customers, such as Musser, who invade when they see him set up for the old Renick Junior High School in the US. 219.
"I had to go to Marlinton to pick up a U-Haul and I did not eat this morning", says Musser, who explains her move from Renick later in the day to her birthplace Pineville. "I'm going at 5:30 this morning and I saw that sign and thought:" It's early, but I can eat a hotdog. "I'm hungry and the kids are too, and I thought I was going to home had to go to cook and that is too much.
"This is good."
Joyce hands Musser her four hot dogs and a Coke and thanks her for "coming to the biggest restaurant of Renick".
It is also Renick's only "restaurant".
. . .
This is Joyce's 13th season with the sale of hot dogs under the red and yellow umbrella that is attached to an authentic Sabret hotdog standard in New York City.
"I grew up on the Sabretts," said Joyce, a native of the eastern part of Long Island, about the brand of hot dogs that are easy to find in NYC streets. "I get a lot of people who recognize (and ask for) the umbrella, & do you have Sabretts? & # 39;"
And although Joyce has to drive to Richmond to buy the all-beef hotdog on which he is raised, he offers a cheaper $ 1 option, especially authentic NYC hot dogs under his Sabretts umbrella.
"I get them for myself", he says laughing. "I'll just share them for $ 2 each, unless you want the special, then you can get two."
Joyce lives just a few miles away – in the country, he says – on the border between the provinces of Greenbrier and Pocahontas.
He calls the area since 1978 at home.
"I would go to Florida and always wanted to go through the mountains, so once, on the way back, I was camping here," he says. "I decided that I liked this place, so I saved my money and went back."
Even after moving to Greenbrier County, Joyce continued to spend his winters in Florida and then returned to West Virginia, where he did various jobs, including handymen and running a pizza company.
But it was in 2004 that the idea arose to get an authentic hot dog standard from NYC.
He says it was a simple idea.
"I just wanted to try it," he says.
He bought the stand – which runs on propane and keeps spices both hot and cold and cooks hot dogs to the required temperature – new in 2005, but did not get the permit to open until 2006.
He started next to the now closed food store on the other side of Renick before he went to the lawn / pavement in front of the school.
And apart from a nearby garage, he says he is the only company in the city.
"It was a busy city years ago before they closed the school," he says about the Renick he remembers. "It had a few beers, a few stores, a food store, oh, everything, but it's dead.
"Consolidation has killed this & # 39; burg & # 39;
That was in 1992.
"I remember going to the last football game," he says. "I told everyone they just killed the city with that voice, that consolidating voice … They did not believe me, it took 20 years, but it killed it."
Joyce was not always alone at his post at the old school.
"I used to have a partner there," he says, pointing to the parking lot, where a flea market was set up long before Joyce started his hotdog activities. "But he died last December. It was always good to have" Don & # 39; Dollar. "
"He was 84 so he had a pretty good run."
. . .
Joyce & # 39; s day is a steady stream of honking cars & persistent conversations.
"He is an iconic figure in the community, Dave the Hot Dog Man," says Tim Hofmann, who lives across the street and comes for a weekly hot dog and talks almost daily.
"I try to shorten," he says while patting his belly.
Nate Williamson, who has a garage a few minutes away but just outside the city limits, stays with his wife, Leona.
"It's great food and affordable," he says. "It is close to home and that is very important, because where are you going (to eat) unless you bring it? There is nowhere else.
"And Dave is really a good guy."
The stand is only open from April to September, Thursday through Saturday – weather and traffic plus Joyce's own desire to continue to Florida determine that schedule.
He is ready at 10 a.m. in the morning, ready for early customers to come, hoping he will be $ 30 or $ 40 before his lunchtime & # 39; hurry & # 39;
"At lunchtime I get the mill workers," he says referring to the nearby Mountain Lumber Company. "They'll sweat me for about an hour, and it's back to my book reading, so after they leave when I can reach almost $ 100 and then make $ 30 or $ 40, that's an average day.
"If I can get up to $ 150, I can say that I earned $ 90 and that's profit."
And exactly during the lunch break things start to pick up again.
"I come every Thursday and Friday," says millworker William Goins. "It's a hot meal, I get enough of the sandwiches."
Employee William Moore says that he was told about the hotdog stand during his interview. The mill is only "2 minutes drive", he says, and because there are no other options, it is a summer selling point for employees with day services.
"I referee football and I even come to Marlinton every Saturday to get a hot dog," he says. "They are good."
. . .
Joyce says he knows he would make more money if he would start somewhere else, but he is happy where he is.
But he loves the thought of water.
"I would like to go along the river", he says with a smile. "Put a small rod down there, fish and sell hot dogs, that would be a good place."
However, he and his wife Janet have made an invitation to the Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company.
But apart from such events, he says that the sidewalk for the old junior high, a place for which he pays $ 50 a month and mows the grass, is good enough for him.
"It is my profession," he says. "My wife thinks I have a job, that's all that counts."
And Joyce, who turns 65 his next birthday, but has no plans to sign up for social security soon, says that in a few years he might transfer the case to his niece.
"I intend to do it until I am 70," he says. "I'm not rich, but I do not need the money, it's almost like a community service, a dollar like a hotdog, it takes a long time to get $ 100, as you can see here in my row now I have my wife 13 seasons fooled. & # 39;
Information from: The Register-Herald, http://www.register-herald.com