Mr. Don: The Smile-Bearing Salesman

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Mr. Don: The Smile-Bearing Salesman

Mr. Don waves at passerby.

Mr. Don waves at passerby.

Sarah Horan

Mr. Don waves at passerby.

Sarah Horan

Sarah Horan

Mr. Don waves at passerby.

Sarah Horan, Staff Writer

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Sarah Horan
Mr. Don attracts business at the intersection of highways 2879 and 2208

Selling honey and wooden canes at the intersection of highways 2879 and 2208 in Longview, Texas, Mr. Don is known for his kind presence and optimistic spirit. Most passersby recognize his demeanor and smile, wave, or honk.

Occasionally, one asks, “Who is this man, and where did he come from?”

Don Erdmenn was born on a farm in Detroit, Michigan. When he was 18, he enlisted in the United States Navy. There, he spent four years in active duty and an additional four on reserve.

After his military career, Mr. Don did maintenance on factory machines in the Chicago area for many years. Later, he moved to Las Vegas to be closer to family and worked for 12 years building massive apartment complexes.

Mr. Don and his loving wife, Cathy, were drawn to East Texas to be close to their daughter, a physical therapist, and their son-in-law.

Next door to their daughter’s workplace, their son-in-law opened a nurses’ scrubs store, where Erdmenn was employed and earned the name “Mr. Don” from their customers.

Fourteen years ago, Mr. Don began selling his canes and walking sticks, made out of oak, crepe myrtle, and occasionally cedar. It wasn’t until three years ago that he began selling honey for a business in Henderson.

When asked about his “marketing strategy”, you’d expect to hear the classic saying “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar,” but instead Mr. Don gives some excellent advice on life.

“My dad told me before I went into the Navy, ‘If you want a friend, be one. I got lots of friends,” Mr. Don says proudly.

Aside from his kind approach to sale

“My dad told me before I went into the Navy, ‘If you want a friend, be one. I got lots of friends,” Mr. Don says proudly.”

— Mr. Don

smanship, Mr. Don gives Christ all of the credit for his outstanding sales.

“The good Lord’s watching over me.” he says, as he explains that he is nearly sold out of honey.