Spotted at: Eat Real Festival, Oakland, CA
Occupation: "Living in the moment"
What do you do?
Well, actually, my husband and I moved here about 6 months ago. My husband took a job with Tesla, the car company. We came out here from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We are keeping our home there, but we’re staying here probably for a couple of years—I'll go back and forth from the east coast to the west coast. I especially love coming [to the Eat Real festival] because I used to have a hot dog cart called Qweenie's Weenies. When we moved here, I sold my business. I am just living in the moment here.
Does your dog Charleston go with you back and forth?
He does, he does! He flies with me and he loves it here.
How old is he?
Five. Five and fabulous, huh Charlie? He was a rescue. They were getting ready to put him down. He is the best dog, all heart. He doesn’t have a mean bone in his body.
Where did the name Charleston come from?
Well, because I live in Myrtle Beach, that’s my favorite city.
What is the biggest difference between here and Myrtle Beach?
You know what? I find that people here aren’t as open, aren’t as friendly as in the south. Where I’m from, I’ll talk to anybody and sometimes when I approach people here, they’re not as nice. I love it here, I really do, I love the weather, there’s so much to do. I love it. I really could make this my forever home but my husband wants to go back to the south.
What is the biggest similarity that you see between here and the south?
I don’t know because it's so different. It’s funny because we have a home that’s two blocks from the ocean, which we bought for $140,000—here that would be millions. It’s so different, probably that’s why I love it. Like the traffic, I mean my lord, in Myrtle Beach I have a golf cart, so we ride around on golf carts. Where I live is called Cherry Grove in North Myrtle Beach. This is just totally different. I’m a people person because even though people aren’t as welcoming, I’ll talk to anyone.
I’ll probably do something eventually because I’m starting to get a little bored.
What do you think you want to do?
Well, honey, I’ve done everything. I’m a barber, a beautician, I owned a hot dog cart, I worked for hospice for a long time. I do people things. I think I would have a fabulous blog, but I don’t do that computer thing, I want to be more out there. Probably I would be a barista like I used to be. I mean—hello kitty—look at all the coffee shops here.
I’m blessed because I can do what I like, but you know, I’ve always done what I liked. That’s probably why I was happy in all my jobs. My husband is very straight-laced, and one day I woke up and said, “I think I need a hot dog cart” and he said, “Oh my lord. Oh, Pam are you sure?” When we were driving to my first day he said, “Queenie, if this doesn’t go well, don’t be upset. Cause it may not.” But in my mind, I just had it laid out like it was going to be the most fabulous thing and you know what? From beginning to end, it was. My first day I made so much money selling hot dogs. You can probably Google it—Qweenies Weenies.
I think your mindset really did it for you. Do you think Qweenies would do well here?
Oh, I think it would because it was an event. It wasn’t just a hotdog cart. I made all my own jellies, my ketchups and mustards and I had all kinds of dogs—Reuben Dogs, I had vegetarian and kosher, all that. They were like gourmet dogs. It was a fun time but I sold it and we moved here. I’m 55 and I don’t think that’s old but you only live life once.
So, you have a daughter?
Yeah, she followed us out here. They say you can’t be best friends, but she’s my best friend. She lived in Charleston and said, “You can’t leave me here.”
She’s here too?
She is so much like my husband. His name is Joe and we call her lil’ Joe, cause she is very focused. She came out and she landed a job in the city in sales, was making a ton of money, but it's not about the money, it's about being happy. She always wanted to be a teacher and then she didn’t become one—she got this job and she traveled all over. One day she called me and said, “I can’t stay here, I need to go and work with inner-city kids.” So now she’s a teacher in Baltimore and she’s happy. I sleep well at night knowing my kids are happy. I got a boy in Ohio, but he’s more like me. He’s like the billy goat in the field, la la la la. Every night before I go to bed I say to my husband, “thank you for my life and my children.”
How long have you been with your husband?
We’ll be married 29 years November 1st. I got a good one.
Where did you get your dress?
Marshalls. I like color, I’m like a chicken, I go for anything shiny. I buy things and my daughter will say, “Oh mama.” I love to go to Sausalito—there’s a little boutique there, things are so different out here. When I went back to the south, I took my clothes from here and they were like, “you don’t see that stuff around here.”
How do people dress in the south?
They’re very conservative, wear pearls. My neighbors all have the short hair, which they get frosted. I mean who still gets their hair frosted, okay?
Where do you get your hair done?
Well, I used to do hair, so it’s natural, it’s gray. I just cut it today, I cut it myself.