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Thursday, February 15, 2018

'Mr. Okra,' New Orleans iconic produce vendor, dies at 75

Posted By on Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 11:19 PM

click to enlarge Mr. Okra. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Mr. Okra.

"Mr. Okra," Arthur Robinson, the singing produce vendor who drove the streets of New Orleans for decades selling fruits and vegetables from his brightly painted truck, has died at 75. The news, which spread on social media tonight, was first confirmed by The New Orleans Advocate.

In 2009, when Mr. Okra's truck died, New Orleanians held fundraisers to buy him a new one. That year he was the subject of a documentary, Mr. Okra, by executive producer Andre Jones and director T.G. Herrington. He also was a fixture at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Robinson talked to Gambit in 2012 about his career and his legacy:
Oh, things change. I remember when children would see you coming, they'd call for their parents, saying, "Mama, mama, here comes the vegetable man!" Now, you pass by, some of these areas they got here, you ask the kids if their parents want something and they look at you like you're crazy.
A family member told The New Orleans Advocate Robinson died at home of natural causes. No funeral services or memorials have been announced.

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