Thong-clad hot dog girls once ruled Florida streets, Where did each goes?

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Thong-clad hot dog girls once ruled Florida streets, Where did each goes?

PINELLAS PARK — It’s a summer that is late in Valerie Workman’s Pinellas Park family area. TMZ flickers on mute as her five dogs howl. “> Sitting crisscross on her behalf settee, she unzips a duffel bag full of 30-year-old stripper thongs.

It’s been years since Valerie, now 55, has seen many of these products. Because of enough time she extends to the base of the case, her sofa is covered in ancient bedazzled panties. But she’sn’t unearthed exactly exactly exactly what she ended up being really hunting for. There are lots of relics from her evenings as being a dancer, but absolutely nothing from her stint as being a dog girl that is hot.

During the early 1990s, roadways in St. Petersburg, Pinellas Park and Largo had been peppered with hot dog carts staffed by feamales in T-backs — thong bikinis. Valerie, whom left dancing to peddle sausages that are italian soda pops, claims she ended up being initial.

It’s been decades since she stuffed up her cart and went back again to dance, but Valerie nevertheless wonders: just just What took place to your hot dog girls?

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A long time ago, the hot dog girls ruled the roads. Baking within the hot Florida sunlight, they made bank selling sausages regarding the part of busy commercial roadways.

The controversial sensation lasted just a couple years in Tampa Bay, nonetheless it ended up being full of action.

Some state the T-backs had been therefore distracting they caused vehicle crashes across Pinellas. Turf wars erupted. Police arrested girls for tossing fists and mace that is spraying. Later on, Valerie would view as being a regional radio section hosted a mud wrestling battle over a contested little bit of territory.

In 1990, an occasion whenever tackiness that is big-haired of ’80s nevertheless lingered, Valerie first arranged her hot dog cart from the region of the road.

In the past, Valerie had been a mom that is single three small kids. She had been proud to possess determined simple tips to utilize her strong body, carved from years as being a third-degree belt that is black to guide her household. She had worked as an exotic dancer at Pinellas groups from the time she won an amateur party competition at Jerry’s Rockin’ Disco, and might make nearly $1,000 a night dancing at pubs such as the Office Lounge, Show Girls and Fountain Blue.

The groups had been enjoyable, but she wished to be her boss that is own and her very own room. When her sister’s boyfriend floated the concept to offer hot dogs on along side it of this road, she shopped for carts.


“i possibly could have gone on state welfare, but we decided to work,” she said.

Valerie stocked through to Sabrett all-beef hot dogs, napkins, potato potato potato chips and condiments at Sam’s Club. She got a permit and boiled her dogs appropriate within the cart, underneath a Sabrett-branded yellowish and umbrella that is blue.

Her buddies from the clubs quickly used. They put up on roadways with good traffic. Some spots, like 49th Street, weren’t yet developed.

“When we pulled up, we had to make certain there weren’t any gators,” she said.

Hungry drivers on the lunch time break and passersby that is curious to see just what she ended up being doing. Automobiles slowed to honk. She made a lot of funds from tourists taking photos alone.

“People from all over came to Florida simply to look at dog that is hot,” Valerie stated.

Valerie believes she had been the very first dog that is hot, but that is difficult to show. The event is well-documented in papers through the right time, which reveal this isn’t a trend specific towards the Tampa Bay area. For example, the Miami instances began operating classified advertisements for bikini-clad dog that is hot when you look at the mid 1980s.

In Fort Myers, Sarah Linski told the News-Press that she could make almost $700 in only 16 hours each week at a cart her boyfriend purchased on her. She made on average $125 on busy times by having a bikini that is regular covered her base, and about $200 every single day whenever she went along to operate in a thong.

Vendors sporting T-Backs had been documented on Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale, Metro Parkway in Fort Myers and Viscaya Parkway in Cape Coral. The thong-wearing vendors didn’t appear when you look at the pages of Tampa Bay papers until 1990 july.

Whether or otherwise not Valerie was initially, she quickly found by by herself in the exact middle of a sensation.

They certainly were the days of thong bathing suit crackdowns across local beaches. Florida Gov. Bob Martinez authorized a ban on uncovered rears in 140 state areas. Sarasota had currently implemented a town ordinance thongs that are banning leading to five arrests soon before that.

Meanwhile the T-backs spread to Tampa.

One thong-clad hot dog girl put up shop on Hillsborough Ave. in the city N’ nation, triggering a county-level grievance. Therefore county traffic engineer Gary Tait led an investigative group to find her.

“The concern may be the merchant could be making a distraction that might cause car accidents,” Tait published in a memo.

He found the secret girl offering frankfurters in the parking great deal of a house enhancement shop.

As more hot dog girls showed up, people alike screamed at them from automobile windows. Some whistled and catcalled, while other people yelled at them to locate some clothes that are real.

“It’s maybe perhaps not the absolute most job that is glamorous the whole world,” merchant Lisa Wallace told a News-Press reporter in 2000. “It’s undoubtedly a task in which you need to have a dense epidermis and a razor-sharp tongue.”

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