Monday, October 21, 2013

Around Town: Felix the Peanut Man

Felix is somewhat of a local hero on Amelia Island, FL.  He can be seen selling peanuts, pineapples, and other items on his three wheeled bicycle down the cobblestone sidewalk of Downtown Fernandina Beach.  He has been a local favorite for over 20 years.  

Back in April of 2009, there was a City Commission meeting that had Felix on the agenda.  An out of towner was upset he couldn't open a hot dog stand and named Felix as an example of someone who was not following the law.  The city banded together in traditional small town fashion, all supporting their local favorite street peddler.  There were t-shirts made, signs, pickets, and even cookies made by Felix's mom.  This was truly an epic moment.  When Felix was offered the podium at the City Commission meeting, he pulled out his harmonica and played "My Country, Tis of Thee" according to an article in the Florida Times Union.  They all agreed that hot dog man had to go, but Felix could stay and continue doing what he had been doing for over two decades.  The Mayor even proclaimed April 29 as Felix Jones Day.

"Felix the Peanut Man"
ISO 320 ~ 28mm ~ f/4.5 ~ 1/200 sec
© Corrie M Avila

When I ran into Felix, I was spending the day with my family in Downtown Fernandina.  My son and cousin had just walked into the ice cream shop on the corner, when I heard someone playing the harmonica down the sidewalk.  I looked up and saw Felix with a harmonica cradled in his weathered hands and a radiant smile on his face.

Felix is an inspiration.  He has a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy, but does not let that define who he is.  He has spent the last 20 years selling peanuts he boils himself and other fruits.  He then takes the money he earns and donates it to schools and local charities.  Completely inspiring.

So play on Felix.  Play your music.  Tell your story through your song.  We are behind you and we support you.

Capturing the Moment,

Corrie <3

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  1. What a great story! Bless him to pieces.

    1. Penny ~ this story just warmed my heart <3 I love that he made a decision to make each day count, regardless of his limitations.