The Farmer’s Market Incident

The weather wasn’t great on Saturday morning, but a lull in the wind and rain permitted us to stop by the Tower Grove Farmer’s Market for 20 minutes or so to pick up some fresh greens, Whisk cookies, Mister’s hand pies, and tofu for lunch.

I also stopped by my favorite egg stand in search of guinea fowl eggs (I recently learned about them and would like to make deviled eggs using them), and while we were standing there, something odd happened that I’ve been processing ever since.

Many of the tents at the farmer’s market are along a narrow one-way road that is completely blocked for pedestrians on Saturday mornings (i.e., its function is as a wide sidewalk–no vehicular traffic).

The egg stand is located in the middle of this road, a good 300 meters from the entrance. So it was much to our surprise to hear some commotion and see a small pickup truck driving towards us along this road.

A man was walking/jogging in front of the truck, shouting at one of the market coordinators to call the police (the man was someone who ran a stand at the market). The driver of the truck drove slowly enough that the dozens of customers could get out of the way, but there was no question that he shouldn’t be on this road. Even if he entered it by mistake, he could have easily backed up and rerouted long before he reached this stretch.

Some people were yelling, calling the police, or taking photos of the truck, but most people just moved to the side. I thought it was pretty clear that the driver wasn’t going to stop but also wasn’t trying to endanger anyone. I appreciate the jogging man for calling attention to it, though, as otherwise I might have assumed that the truck was part of the market and needed to get through.

Part of me is still wondering why the truck driver didn’t just turn around. Maybe he didn’t realize how long he was going to be on the market road? Maybe he didn’t care? Maybe he was stubborn and entitled? Maybe he had dementia (he was probably in his 70s)?

Also, in self-reflection, I’m not sure if I liked what I did in response (or, rather, what I didn’t do). Like many people, I just stepped aside and watched. I didn’t want to contribute to the situation escalating. I didn’t want the jogging man to get hit by the truck, though it was also possible for the jogging man to move out of the path of the truck at any time. I didn’t take a photo of the license plate or film the incident, assuming that someone else would, but if too many people assumed the same thing, the incident could go undocumented. What would you have done?

7 thoughts on “The Farmer’s Market Incident”

  1. I don’t know what I would have done, but I’m shocked if this ended with no trouble. I would bet in LA that if the driver didn’t stop/reverse, people would have assaulted his vehicle, denting it, knocking off the rearview mirrors, etc. Which is of course not what SHOULD happen, but what seems likely to me based on other videos I’ve seen lately of cars driving in areas they shouldn’t (usually protests).

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  2. This sounds like an elderly confused driver. If someone had just walked up the driver, got his attention and if he stopped then assist him in navigating out of the market area.

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    • It’s possible. Though I got a very good look at his face as he was driving by, and he didn’t look confused–he looked stubborn, like, “These people can’t tell me where I can or can’t drive.”

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  3. If the driver was doing it maliciously, this reminds me of people who park their vehicles blocking electric charging stations to prevent electric car drivers from charging their cars. I don’t understand the mentality that causes one person to think it’s their job to prevent other people from doing a thing just because it doesn’t fit with their own choices.

    I’m not brave enough to confront people like that, and I’m not sure I can trust myself to remain calm while doing so. I wonder what the driver would have done if the jogging man had just stood still in front of the truck. No confrontation, just standing still. Would the driver have hit him with his truck?

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    • I think the truck actually hit the jogging man several times whenever he stopped jogging, as he was actively trying to get the truck to stop moving forward, yet the truck continued to slowly move forward.

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  4. I am guessing like you stated the individual had dementia, stroke, or some medical condition. Hopefully he gets the helps he needs.

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    • I hope he gets the help he needs too. I wouldn’t say that dementia is my top guess, though, as he simply seemed resolute to continue driving even though he was hitting the man who was trying to stop him from driving (and he was of sound mind to drive slowly and carefully enough to not hit anyone else).

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