Thong-clad hot dog girls once ruled Florida streets, Where did they’re going?

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Thong-clad hot dog girls once ruled Florida streets, Where did they’re going?

PINELLAS PARK — It’s a summer that is late in Valerie Workman’s Pinellas Park family 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 some of those things. By enough time she extends to the bottom of the case, her settee is covered in ancient bedazzled panties. But she’sn’t unearthed exactly exactly what she was really to locate. There are numerous relics from her nights as a dancer, but nothing from her stint as being a hot dog woman.

Within 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, who left dancing to peddle Italian sausages and carbonated drinks, claims she ended up being the very first.

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

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Not so long ago, the dog that is hot ruled the roads. Baking into the Florida that is hot sun they made bank selling sausages regarding the part of busy commercial roadways.

The controversial occurrence lasted just a couple years in Tampa Bay, nonetheless it had been full of action.

Some state the T-backs had been therefore distracting which 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 a radio that is local hosted a mud wrestling battle over a contested little bit of territory.

In 1990, a time whenever tackiness that is big-haired of ’80s nevertheless lingered, Valerie first put up her hot dog cart from the part for the road.

In the past, Valerie ended up being a mom that is single three small kids. She ended up being proud to own identified how exactly to make use of her strong physique, carved from years being a third-degree belt that is black to guide her household. She had worked as a dancer that is exotic Pinellas groups from the time she won an amateur party contest at Jerry’s Rockin’ Disco, and might make nearly $1,000 every night dancing at pubs just like the workplace Lounge, Show Girls and Fountain Blue.

The groups were fun, but she desired to be her boss that is own and her very own space. When her sister’s boyfriend floated the theory to offer dogs that are hot the medial side of this road, she shopped for carts.


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

Valerie stocked up on Sabrett all-beef hot dogs, napkins, 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 through the groups quickly used. They arranged on roadways 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 had been doing. Vehicles slowed to honk. She made loads of cash from tourists capturing alone.

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

Valerie thinks she had been the very first hot dog woman, but that’s difficult to show. The sensation is well-documented in newspapers through the right time, which reveal this isn’t a trend distinct to your Tampa Bay area. By way of example, the Miami circumstances 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 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 regular bikini that covered her base, and about $200 just about every 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 arrive within the pages of Tampa Bay papers until 1990 july.

Whether or perhaps not Valerie was, she quickly discovered by herself in the center of a sensation.

We were holding the full days of thong bathing suit crackdowns across neighborhood 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 causing five arrests soon before that.

Meanwhile the T-backs distribute to Tampa.

One thong-clad hot dog woman put up store on Hillsborough Ave. in Town 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 developing 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 increasingly more hot dog girls showed up, both women and men alike screamed at them from automobile windows. Some whistled and catcalled, while other people yelled at them to locate some genuine clothing.

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