Me and Ron Popeil

I have always liked to sell stuff. It started when I was five and went to morning kindergarten. We lived on a street in New Canaan that dead ended into the elementary school. I noticed that many kids walked right by our house on their way home so I set up a lemonade and cookie stand. I had practically captive customers who almost all could get their hands on a nickel or two. Lemonade for two cents and a cookie for three. I got hooked on selling things right then.

Of course I came from salesman stock in my father. He had sold Vick’s vapor rub and was salesman of the year by the time I was opening up my stand. Then it turned out my mother was quite a good sales woman. When I got a little older she sold Doncaster in our house.

I went on to sell jawbreakers in third grade, Girl Scout cookies in Forth grade, Burbee seeds in fifth grade and Avon after that. My father made me do test marketing on certain products Avon was trying, Since by then he worked for them. I can tell you that kids should not sell hair color or panty hose door to door. In college I sold Electrolux vacuums and cable TV.

It was no wonder I had no problem getting a sales job during a recession when I graduated from college. I had been breed for it, or had I just been born into it?

Tonight while I was watching Jeopardy I paid very close attention to a category named, “born salesmen.” The $1,000 answer was about a Ronco salesman born on May 3. Of course the answer was Ron Popeil, great hawker of things like the veg-o-mastic. What really got my attention was he and I are born on the same day. Maybe my genetics are not all to blame for my “sales” gene, perhaps it is in the stars.

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