Could this scene possibly be more quintessentially American?
Hi, I'm AJ and I'm a dog—let's get that out of the way first. I used the word "quintessentially" in the first paragraph so that, if you're an agnostic insomniac dyslexic etymologist, you won't stay up all night wondering if there's a column-writing dog. (RIMSHOT! But seriously ... )
What could be more American than a dog out for a walk with his dog's-best-friend? Answer: When they run into a genuine all-American kids' lemonade stand.
You'll see from the photos and short video Rick took that this is an enterprising family indeed.
Not only did Grant, 13, and Noell, 10, make $30 in the deal, but their dad, Randy, was up on a ladder in near-90-degree heat. (You won't catch ME doing that, but again, I'm a dog. Typing on this MacBook is work enough.)
I'm pretty sure Randy or another family member constructed the really cool yellow-color lemonade stand you see in the featured photo. The family uses it for garage sales, too, and it has actual wheels on two sides so it can roll to the street corner or the end of the driveway.
The Geneva East Phase IV neighborhood has 30-or-so houses and was built in the late 1990s by ShoDeen, Inc. It's across the street from Good Templar Park and is right next door to Moore Park.
Kids from the neighborhood generally attend Harrison Street School, St. Peter School, the middle schools and high school.
Grant's and Noell's mom makes delicious banana bread, which was also for sale at the stand. I enjoyed it immensely and let Rick have a taste, even though I know I shouldn't let him have sweets. When we stopped by, Grant and Noell were lobbying for Mom to make lemon squares to round out the menu.
There's at least one celebrity in the neighborhood other than me: 3rd Ward Alderman Ray Pawlak. (Google his name and you'll find, and I'm not making this up, that there is "1 person in the United States with the name Ray Pawlak," which I know to be untrue due to my own, dogged (RIMSHOT! I'll be here all week) journalistic research.
Tune in every Wednesday for Travels with AJ. We'll also post photos and brief stories when we find them during the week, offering you a literal snapshot of life in Geneva.
If you see us, be sure to stop by and say hi and have your picture taken. You, too, could someday be as famous as the "one-and-only" 3rd Ward Alderman Ray Pawlak. (RIMSHOT! Good night, and don't forget to tip your waitresses!)