Today Lashon is pursuing a PHD in Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. But for a while, she lived in New Orleans, and was inspired to write her sweet book about our favorite produce vendor.
In this interview Lashon talks about the first time she ever saw Mr. Okra, and how she went about creating a children’s book featuring his life’s calling.
Says Lashon: “It was an early Sunday morning, and I remember hearing the truck coming down my street and I thought, is that an ice cream man? And he was calling out these fruits and vegetables, saying there were strawberries and mangoes and bananas, and I thought to myself What kind of ice cream truck man is this?… I found out how well loved he is by the city.”
Mr. Okra Sells Fresh Fruits and Vegetables was published by Pelican Publishing Company, Inc. It is available in bookstores in New Orleans, Berkeley, and on Amazon.
Here’s what Mr. Okra has to say about the book (from the back cover): “I love selling fruits and veggies to the people of New Orleans because there are people who can’t get to the big stores and people who don’t really like to go to the big stores. . . . They depend on me and I depend on them. We are all family; even if they don’t buy nothing, they still come out and we talk. The fact that this young lady has put me in her children’s book means a whole lot to me. I’m very thankful.”
Listen to Lashon narrating Mr. Okra Sells Fresh Fruits and Vegetables