By Michaela Kron
It’s 5:30 a.m., and George “Buck” Douglas is already unloading fresh produce at the corner of Mount Vernon Highway and Sandy Springs Circle.
While many people are grabbing a few more minutes of sleep before the alarm goes off, Douglas is on the job at the produce stand where he has worked intermittently the past 10 years for extra gas money.
Douglas, who turned 80 on June 26, has lived in Atlanta his entire life. He was born on a sidewalk in front of a “picture show theater” in Buckhead, which led to the nickname Buck.
“It ain’t nothing like it used to be,” Douglas said of Sandy Springs. He noted the influx of “Yankees” and the shift to a more urban environment.
But selling produce at the busy Sandy Springs intersection, Douglas manages to maintain a friendly, down-home atmosphere, whether greeting regular customers or new ones. He said he enjoys meeting different people at the stand.
Douglas works at the stand every day of the week. He begins each morning by setting up produce delivered from farmers’ markets and local growers. He arranges the fresh fruits and vegetables into baskets and waits for the customers.
In addition to offering regular produce, the stand sells items such as firewood, hot boiled peanuts, Vidalia onions and possibly the juiciest peaches in Sandy Springs.
Douglas said the stand is busiest Wednesday through Sunday.
It is open until 8 p.m., but Douglas’ workday is done around noon.
Danny Hudson, a former Sandy Springs resident who lives in Williamson, owns the produce stand. His mother opened it in 1978, and Hudson took over about 20 years ago.
He has known Douglas for many years. “He’s a big-hearted person,” Hudson said. “He’s a good guy.”