At No Limits, hot dogs from a frank server

EASTERN SHORE POST/TED SHOCKLEY CL Brown holds two hot dogs with mustard at the No Limits hot dog cart in Tasley on Aug. 25.

BY TED SHOCKLEY, Eastern Shore Post —

The sky was blue, the breeze was pleasant, and the hot dogs were beef.

The hot dog cart was shiny. The music blaring from a speaker was from the 1980s.

A song by the band Chicago called “You’re the Inspiration” played as CL Brown pulled out a bun.

Brown, who legally changed his name several years ago to “CL,” with no periods, used tongs to place a hot dog in the bun crease.

“I’ll have regular customers. I will have their order all ready,” said Brown, who was staffing the No Limits Eastern Shore hot dog cart on Friday, Aug. 25.

“They will say, ‘You have a good memory.’ Well, sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t.”

Brown put sauerkraut on a hot dog and handed it to a customer as Bruce Hornsby’s song, “The Way It Is,” played on the speaker.

Then he talked a bit about how he came to No Limits, a nonprofit in Tasley that helps adult survivors of brain injuries with day support and other programs.

No Limits serves 50 survivors of brain injuries each year.

On June 23, 1990, Brown was severely injured while riding in the back seat of a vehicle involved in a head-on collision on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

He usually rode in the front seat but someone else already was sitting there, so he climbed in the back.

The front-seat passenger died. Brown almost did.

“I had to learn how to walk, talk, everything, all over again,” he said.

The COVID-19 pandemic paused operation of the hot dog cart, which was funded by the Eastern Shore of Virginia Community Foundation. Now it is open one Friday a month.

“This is our first year getting it back,” said Rachel Evans, the No Limits executive director.

She said of Brown, “He does really well with it.”

He was equally complimentary: “I love No Limits,” he said.

A vehicle pulled into the No Limits parking lot at 24546 Coastal Blvd., Tasley.

Two customers walked up and placed an order.

Brown pulled out his tongs, grabbed a bun, and bobbed his head as the song “Forever Young,” by Rod Stewart, played on the speaker.

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