For what seems like a couple of years now, the corner of Jamacha Road and Cuyamaca College Drive West in Rancho San Diego has included an entertaining sight. From a distance, it appears to be one of those guys who twirls a sign for a nearby business. (An October 15, 2008, Reader story included interviews with some of San Diego's sign-spinners). As you get closer, however, you realize that the reverse is true. Yes, Verizon Wireless, located in the Rancho San Diego Towne Center shopping center, is the business being advertised. However, rather than twirl his sign, this man is twirling his body!
"Corner Dancer" (as I call him) began his sign-twirling career in 2007, and those of us who passed by his corner noticed him immediately. Originally, he held the big red Verizon sign in his hand and did some wild dance moves. These days, the sign sits propped up nearby so that C.D. can make full use of his body in unrestrained dance.
On February 3, I decided to stop and talk to Corner Dancer. As I approached the intersection of Jamacha Road and Cuyamaca College Drive West, I noticed a man in slacks and blazer handing C.D. a business card. He was walking away as I rode up.
What is Corner Dancer's real name? Terrell Picklesimon. The day I met him, he wore a purple Mardi Gras mask while he worked. I asked if Verizon had shown their appreciation for what he does. He replied in the affirmative without offering any details. Are others trying to get him to work for them? Yes, in fact that's what the guy with the business card was all about. What else does Picklesimon do? "DJing, dancing, and some singing."
Picklesimon's shoes attracted my attention. I immediately recognized the cover art that Derek Riggs painted for Iron Maiden's Powerslave album. Asked if he was an Iron Maiden fan, Picklesimon said he wasn't really familiar with them, that he'd obtained the shoes "somewhere."
As I spoke with Picklesimon, a passing car honked. Four smiling young Chaldean men were shouting and holding their arms out the windows in greeting, a regular occurrence for Corner Dancer.