Young Entrepreneurs on Neil Armstrong’s Street

When my children were young and the summer days began to drag, they sometimes looked to me for ideas. I remember at least two occasions when they became little entrepreneurs, setting up a lemonade stand in front of our house and another time, at my parents’ house—the same spot where my business had been located many, many years ago.

During the days between the launch of Apollo 11 on July 16 and the landing four days later, it was clear from the articles in my father’s newspapers that there was little to report.

On the same day we learned about the first meal Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin would be having on the moon, the New York Daily News reported about the activities occurring in the Armstrong neighborhood.

It turns out that Mrs. Armstrong was one of the coaches of the El Lago, Texas synchronized swim team, and they were trying to raise money for the girls to travel to Ohio for the national Amateur Athletic Union championship. While Jan Armstrong suggested the girls set up shop on her lawn, the neighbors decided to give the family of the famous astronaut a little space since they were facing a slew of photographers camping out across from the Armstrong house.

I wonder if the young swimmers profited from the publicity. The day the article was written the girls made twenty-five dollars from the sale of the lemonade and ice tea. Perhaps after the big news hit the press, their sales skyrocketed.

Dad was a young boy when the family moved to the Soviet Union in 1931. While I never heard that he sold lemonade in front of his house at 17 Brook Street, I do recall him mentioning that he contributed to the family coffers by caddying at the local golf club.


About kjw616

I am a genealogy detective. I have already written one book about my Irish family's journey from 19th century Ireland to the United States- a family history sprinkled with personal anecdotes. My second book was intended to be a similar story about my Russian ancestors. Instead, it turned into a tale of just my father's immediate family. It is the tale of what happens when 6 children from New Jersey are moved to the Soviet Union by their Russian-born parents during the Great Depression. It details who lives, who dies, and who is able to return to NJ during a time when leaving the USSR was not an easy endeavor, particularly during World War II and the Cold War. It is my hope that those interested in history during this time period will find this story fascinating as well as those fellow amateur family historians who will learn some of the tools such as, visits to the National Archives, and local libraries I used to uncover this story.
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1 Response to Young Entrepreneurs on Neil Armstrong’s Street

  1. Pingback: What’s In That Bag | Do Svidanya Dad

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