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Byron Edward Trawick – The Peanut Man

 

Byron Edward Trawick was known in Dothan as “The Peanut Man.”  He sold his famed boiled peanuts at different locations in Dothan for decades.  Born in Barbour County, Alabama in 1928, he was no stranger to life in troubling economic times.  This son of sharecroppers learned at an early age to rely on the land, the Lord, and his own personal determination to succeed.  He worked in the fields with his family picking cotton, hoeing peanuts, pulling corn, and working in the sugar cane mill.  It was at the age of 13 that Mr. Trawick took the peanuts that he had pulled from the ground and began boiling them to the delight of his family and friends.


Over the subsequent 68 years since that first batch, Mr. Trawick perfected his recipe and gained great wisdom in working for peanuts.  As far as perfecting his recipe, he said it was no secret.  He shared with many people, “First you have to get up early to start cooking, you’ve got to have green peanuts, and you must have a patient hand when stirring and adding salt.”  He met his wife, Winny, at a peanut boil in Dothan in 1949.  They married in 1952 and had three children, four grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.


Following Dothan’s historic snowstorm of 1993, Mr. Trawick established a vending site at the Exxon station on the corner of Highway 84 and Ross Clark Circle.  The Exxon station closed in 1995 but Mr. Trawick stayed.  For more than a decade he kept the site well maintained, and people continued to stop and enjoy his boiled peanuts.


In 2005 the site was purchased as the future location of Friend Bank.  Joseph Johnson, the bank’s president, went to introduce himself to Mr. Trawick.  Joseph recalls that when they met there was never any discussion about him moving his peanut trailer, and Mr. Trawick’s first comment was where he wanted his hookup to be.  It was clear to Joseph that this site was part of Mr. Trawick, and the folks at Friend were not about to take it away from him.  Dothan’s Peanut Man became part of the Friend family.  He had a designated spot for his trailer, conveniently accessible to all those traveling along Highway 84 and Ross Clark Circle.  When he was asked to sum up his experiences, Mr. Trawick responded, “Like I tell all my customers, hold on tight, and let the Lord ride with you.”


Sadly, in January 2009, Mr. Trawick passed away at the age of 80.  A memorial was held for him in October 2009 at Friend Bank with the unveiling of a peanut statue at the very location which Friend Bank had reserved for him to sell his boiled peanuts.  Family and friends attended the event and shared fond memories of Dothan’s beloved Peanut Man.


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