Merchandise vendors at Derby work to make ends meet


by WHAS11

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 11:27 PM

Updated Saturday, May 5 at 11:41 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- There is still a struggling, working class in a slowly recovering economy.

Many vendors say they are working to get by, by traveling to cities as merchandise vendors to make money at events like the Derby in Louisville.

"We worked the parade, then we came here right after the parade to set up. So we totally didn’t sleep at all yesterday,” Wayne Taylor, vendor from Chicago, said.

No sleep, that's what Taylor had to do to get this booth up in time for Derby at Gate 12 at Churchill Downs.

Many of the vendors you see at Derby are from different parts of the country and raising money for their families by traveling to major events working for a merchandise company.

Like Brad Penton who has an 11-year-old son back home in New Orleans.

“It’s tough being away from him, but this is all for him,” Penton said. 

Penton has been doing this for several years and he’s on the road six months out of the year.

This is a new venture for Dennis Peck who has six kids back in Madison, Wis. He once owned a landscape business that went under two years ago and hasn't had a full-time job since.

"Back in the Midwest, where I’m from, it’s tough, there’s really nothing. Yeah, it’s tough,” Peck said. “Yeah it’s still tough leaving there.”

Wayne Taylor says even with his degree in business, the economy has shown no mercy.

"You have a bachelors degree, you're under qualified, you're over qualified,” Taylor said. “So, you're in this median and you can’t get anywhere.”

Taylor hopes one day to turn his knowledge in business into a business of his own.

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