CBS' Steve Hartman interviews Little Rock's "The Broom Man"

    7:28 PM, Sep 18, 2013   |    comments
    • Share
    • Print
    • - A A A +

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - CBS' Steve Hartman, known for his segment, "On the Road" interviewed Little Rock's "The Broom Man" on Wednesday.

    "I've been telling feature stories for 25 years and I've never heard of anyone like him," said Hartman.

    Melvin Pickens, an 81-year-old blind Arkansan, lives in Little Rock and sells brooms for a living. He's made loyal customers out of store owners and visitors to the Heights and Hillcrest areas of the city.

    "It goes beyond just a retail relationship. I mean these people really care about him," said Hartman. "I mean most door-to-door salesmen don't have a fan base following, so that sets him apart."

    THV featured The Broom Man in July after some area store owners became worried when they hadn't seen him for some time. It turns out Pickens had some health issues that kept him from making his regular rounds.

    WATCH: THV's story on the Broom Man from July (http://on.kthv.com/11aTacp)

    That's part of the reason Hartman was so impressed with the Little Rock legend: Despite challenges, The Broom Man pushed forward.

    "I mean the last time he went out selling brooms he had to be hospitalized. Yet, he still wants to come out there and keep working.  I mean the fact that someone wants to try that hard to make a living just blows me away," said Hartman.

    While there's no doubt Pickens has quite a likeable side, his savvy sales skills weren't lost on the TV legend.

    "There's two sides to him. There's the sweet really nice, kind, would like to talk your ear off, but there's also the side where, 'I'm not going to let you leave my sight unless you buy a broom from me,'" said Hartman.

    While The Broom Man is well-known in parts of central Arkansas, it's a surprise to anyone that he would make national news. But for Hartman and his crew, featuring Pickens was a no-brainer.

    "As soon as I heard about The Broom Man, I mean, we get a lot of suggestions every week for what kind of stories we want to do, and most they're like 'well that's not good enough, but not him,'" said Hartman.

    The segment's air date is not yet confirmed.  Hartman travels the country telling the journeys of ordinary Americans.

    Follow Daniel Wilkerson @dan_wilkerson.

    Most Watched Videos