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

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

PINELLAS PARK — It’s a belated summer time afternoon in Valerie Workman’s Pinellas Park living room. 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 a few of these things. By the time she extends to the bottom of the case, her sofa is covered in ancient panties that are bedazzled. But she’sn’t unearthed what she had been really shopping for. There are numerous relics from her evenings as being a dancer, but nothing from her stint as a hot dog woman.

into the early 1990s, roads in St. Petersburg, Pinellas Park and Largo were peppered with hot dog carts staffed by ladies in T-backs — thong bikinis. Valerie, whom left dancing to peddle sausages that are italian soda pops, claims she ended up being the very first.

It’s been decades since she stuffed up her cart and went back once again to dancing, but Valerie nevertheless wonders: exactly What happened to your hot dog girls?

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

The controversial trend lasted just a couple years in Tampa Bay, nonetheless it had been filled with action.

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

In 1990, a period as soon as the tackiness that is big-haired of ’80s nevertheless lingered, Valerie first put up her hot dog cart from the part associated with road.

In those days, Valerie had been a mom that is single three small kids. She ended up being proud to possess identified just how to make use of her strong body, carved from years as a third-degree belt that is black to guide her household. She had worked being an exotic dancer at Pinellas groups from the time she won an amateur party competition at Jerry’s Rockin’ Disco, and may make very nearly $1,000 per night dance at pubs such as the workplace Lounge, Show Girls and Fountain Blue.

The groups had been enjoyable, but she desired to be her very own employer and also have her very own area. When her sister’s boyfriend floated the concept to market hot dogs on along side it of this road, she shopped for carts.


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

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

Her friends through the groups quickly implemented. They put up on roads with good traffic. Some spots, like 49th Street, weren’t yet developed.

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

Hungry drivers to their lunch time break and passersby that is curious to see just what she ended up being doing. Vehicles slowed down to honk. She made an abundance of funds from tourists capturing alone.

“People from all over came to Florida simply to start to see the hot dog girls,” Valerie said.

Valerie thinks she ended up being the initial hot dog woman, but that is difficult to show. The event is well-documented in magazines through the time, which reveal it wasn’t a trend distinct into the Tampa Bay area. For example, the Miami occasions began operating classified advertisements for bikini-clad hot dog hawkers within the mid 1980s.

In Fort Myers, Sarah Linski told the News-Press her boyfriend bought for her that she could earn nearly $700 in just 16 hours per week at a cart. She made on average $125 on busy times having a bikini that is regular covered her base, and about $200 every day whenever she went along to work with a thong.

Vendors sporting T-Backs were 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 within the pages of Tampa Bay newspapers until July 1990.

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

We were holding the days of thong bathing suit crackdowns across local beaches. Florida Gov. Bob Martinez authorized a ban on uncovered Colorado dating service rears in 140 state areas. Sarasota had already implemented a city ordinance thongs that are banning leading to five arrests briefly before that.

Meanwhile the T-backs distribute to Tampa.

One thong-clad hot dog woman put up store on Hillsborough Ave. in the city N’ nation, triggering a county-level problem. Therefore county traffic engineer Gary Tait led a team that is investigative find her.

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

He found the secret girl frankfurters that are selling the parking area of a house enhancement shop.

As increasing numbers of dog that is hot showed up, women and men alike screamed at them from vehicle windows. Some whistled and catcalled, while other people yelled at them to locate some clothes that are real.

“It’s perhaps perhaps not probably the most glamorous work in the entire world,” vendor Lisa Wallace told a News-Press reporter in 2000. “It’s undoubtedly a task for which you need a dense epidermis and a razor-sharp tongue.”

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