Tater Man a Chiefland legend

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By Claude Lewis

He is not a celebrity or politician, but he has to be one of the most well-known people around north Levy County. Most everyone driving on U.S. 19 just north of Chiefland has seen him - the "Tater Man" - on Fridays and Saturdays on the roadside.

Some stop to buy farm-fresh potatoes and other produce. Others stop by just to chat. A honk of the horn will suffice for others.

Friendly Bobby "Tater Man" Chesser smiles and waves back.

"I'm a people person," he said. "Look for the blue truck and the big umbrella."

Chesser has been selling Florida-grown potatoes and vegetables for 20 years now.

"When I first started doing this, people didn't know my name," he said. "Everybody started calling me the tater man."

The 66-year-old Chesser once was a farmer himself. He got out of that line and went to work for the City of Gainesville, retiring a couple of years ago from his job as fleet parts manager.

Coming out to the serenity of Levy County on weekends has always been a pleasant getaway for Chesser.

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