Sick and can't get sales
Easton Johnson is very sick. His sight has deteriorated, he is diabetic, has high blood pressure, and is struggling with kidney problems.
The bills, he said, are piling up and he sometimes feels hopeless, knowing that he cannot buy his medication from his trade.
"It is very rough. I owe a lot a rent right now, and my medication is almost finished," Johnson, 55, said.
The middle-aged man, who uses a cane and often requires assistance from persons to get around, is among the 40 vendors at the Success Craft Market hoping for a change in their business fortunes.
So bad is business these days that the vendors' only hope of making a sale hinges on an arrangement with the Hilton Hotel. The vendors are allowed to sell their goods there, but there are days that they do not get any customers.
Johnson told WESTERN STAR that he has had to resort to doing odd jobs such as sanding pieces of wood and craft items in order to make ends meet.
"I can't remember when last I got a sale here. When me say it rough, it rough," he said.
"Sometimes me cry," he said, while pointing out that it costs $30,000 per month for dialysis.
"Me cry because me have six kids to take care of ... . That's why me get strokes ... . Me get three strokes," Johnson said, adding that the stressful nature of the business has contributed to his ill health.
Johnson said that he pays $1,400 per week in transport fees and he cannot afford to skip a meal because he has to eat in order to take his medication.
"If me can get business, me will all right because me wi mek a money," the sick man said.