Running errands yesterday, I came up two sets of neighborhood children, each engaging in that age-old American tradition - the lemonade stand. Of course, I had to pull over and get me some.
I remember doing the exact same thing with the neighborhood kid gang and again, when I was older, selling grape Kool-Aid with Donna Clark. Our stand was a giant cardboard box.
Beyond the obvious cute factor of business partners like Sarah and Zoe here, I took it as a healthy sign for the future of America. Sure, we may be in the middle of the worst economic shitstorm since the Depression but we'll recover eventually with the promise of Tomorrow.
The mint iced tea that Sarah served me was delicious and cost $1. I asked her about the recipe and she obliged: "First you bowl the water and then you add the mint. Then, you add the sugar, if you want some."
"When do you add the tea?"
"Ummmm, I'm not sure."
Of course, there was a boys v. girls thing going on here - another age-old tradition. Just one block down, at Iowa and Steele, Hyram (sales) and Alex (marketing) represented the healthy competition.
They didn't have an actual stand per se, but worked their enterprise out of a big blue cooler - very grass roots. Hyram served me lemonade - only 50 cents! - while Alex tried to flag cars down with his large green cardboard sign. I asked Hyram if the lemonade was homemade.
"Um, well, we poured the stuff in and mixed it up ourselves," he said hopefully.
"Well that sounds homemade to me."
As I wished them luck and walked away, I saw a woman with a stroller approach the corner. Hyram yelled out, "Mom! We made nine dollars already!" This made me smile. I couldn't help pondering how the mighty of today was tiny yesterday. Wal-Mart started as a wee five-and-dime in Rogers, Arkansas; both Hewlett-Packard and Google began in suburban garages and America itself began with a ballsy bunch of scrappy rebels, daring to defy a world superpower.
So yeah, I'm happy to see that the daily headlines of gloom and doom have not soured the DIY spirit of this country. I guess that's why I pulled over. That attitude must be encouraged if we're going to pull ourselves up and outta this mess.
And besides, I was thirsty.