Overcoming the Odds: Rain or shine, it's one-of-a-kind

By Kim Essex - bio | email

HAZEL GREEN, AL (WAFF) - For 34-year-old Dewey Tate, pedaling his 3 wheeled bicycle the half a mile from his home to Hazel Green Building and Supply on Highway 231/431, is an everyday routine.

He sets up his tent where he sells his handmade birdhouses at the business. For Dewey this is his office and this is work.

A car accident left him partially paralyzed back in 1985, when he was only 9 years old.

"It didn't slow me down, I finished high school and went to college."

In college, he studied graphic arts and drafting, but after college, Dewey went to work for some local roofers, but was let go because business slowed down. So he fell back on his drafting teachings, and in result, started crafting one-of-a-kind birdhouses.

Although business has been slow in recent weeks, Dewey says people come from all over to get one of their very own.

"I keep building them, because it's the only kind of work I can do with one hand."

The manager of Hazel Green hardware says Dewey is always there, everyday and rain or shine, snow or sleet.

The company not only allows him to sell on the property, they help him with supplies to make the houses.

"It feels good. In the condition that he is in to want to work, it feels good to help someone like that," said manager Michael Onder.

Even with all of the challenges he's been dealt, Dewey has a remarkable outlook on life.

"I've tried to make the best of everyday. I enjoy life. I enjoy the life I live," added Dewey.

These days, that life is filled with the love and support of his family, a 4-year-old daughter and a wife who is also partially paralyzed.

He says even though he collects disability, he still needs to provide for his family.

"My little girl tells me she loves me all the time. My wife's really proud of me for what I am doing, because I am not just staying home living off the government. I'm out trying to make a living."

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