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.