Ocala sign guy receives much deserved attention

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David The Getaway Deli sign holder dressed a Sylvester. [Photo by Phil Dirlam II]
Ocala, Florida — A sign spinner, known as David, is receiving a lot of attention today thanks to Phil Dirlam II.

David Turner, “the sign guy” holds advertising signs for The Getaway Deli in Ocala. David dresses up in different costumes and does it with a smile, well, if you could see his smile. His enthusiasm for his job has also brought smiles to many children as they pass by and see him in costume.

You have probably seen him standing on the sidewalk at 25th Avenue and State Road 40.

In an e-mail to Ocala Post, a member of David’s church wrote, “Doctors in Denver once told David that he would never walk again because he had Burkitt’s Lymphoma, but he decided that he would not spend his life in a wheelchair. In 2013, David hopped a bus with almost no money and landed in Ocala. He has been twirling a sign for the deli ever since. He truly is an amazing person with a huge heart and an amazing outlook on life.”

Laura Douglas Sager wrote, “We love this guy !! It sure makes waiting for the light a lot easier to handle when you’re in a rush. He has moves that’s for sure.”

Paige and Ben Roberts wrote, “I can’t order anything at the deli today, but Phil’s post has inspired me to give back a little something to David for making my family smile. We are so quick to complain that it is nice to be reminded of all of the good things people do in our little town and let them know that we do notice the little things!”

Alison West wrote, “You started an amazing good-feeling post ! Nice to see Ocalans’ doing kind things and making someone’s day.”

It all started when Dirlam posted a photo of David “the sign guy” on Ocala’s Word of Mouth Facebook page.

Dirlam wrote, “I think this dude is more locally known than some of the richest of Ocala.. I also think he is the highest paid sign holder in Ocala… Today is Sylvester, tomorrow may be Batman lol.”

The post has drawn an extraordinary amount of attention. So much so, that today, co-owner Nathaniel Thibodeaux, of The Getaway Deli wrote, “Well, there was a wonderful post on Ocala Word of Mouth today. It was about our sign holder, David. To give him the recognition that he obviously deserves, I’d like to show him the enthusiasm that the members of OWOM were expressing for the great job he does. Today, I’d like to give him 20% of the gross revenue from today’s sales. This will be to show him how much of a smile he puts on the faces of Ocala drivers. So, please join us in rewarding him with the best bonus from Ocala that we can. Thanks everyone.”

Sadly, it’s not often employees experience such appreciation from their employer. But the owner of The Getaway Deli, along with David, have certainly just brightened everyone’s spirit this holiday season.

Residents and OWOM members have latched on the positive post and have vowed to stop by the deli to not only show support for a local business, but to show support for David.

In an e-mail tip to Ocala Post about this story, a resident wrote, “In a town overridden with crime and government corruption, it is so nice to see something this positive. I will certainly have lunch at the deli on my break today.”

David is also involved with the community. When he is not holding signs for the deli, he volunteers his time at his church.

Holding a street sign might not be David’s dream job, but he never complains. He shows up for work every day, and takes it serious. Most importantly, he actually enjoys it.

[Published at 2:17 p.m. on December 10, 2014, last updated at 4:13 p.m. .]

“It turned out to be a very FUN day today because of the support you all showed for David, our beloved sign spinner. I know some people wanted to help raise money for our dancing Santa Cat but it was just too short of notice. So we have decided to extend the same offer through tomorrow & Friday. 20% of all sales will be given to David as a Christmas Bonus from Ocala Drivers:-) Also, it will allow us to be better prepared to serve YOU! — The Getaway Deli

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