Lemonade Stand

Rally 'round the flag!I’m not sure what age I was when I had my lemonade stand – let’s call it eight years old or so. I don’t know if it even lasted an hour, but in any case, I nailed legs onto a board to make a table, mixed up a pitcher of lemonade, set out a few cups, and set up shop. Here’s the odd thing: I set this all up in the woods, maybe 40 feet from the back lawn, with not even a nearby trail. There was a patch of skunk cabbage nearby. I don’t think I even told anyone I was in business out there. No customers, of course. Did I expect any? I have no idea what my motivation was, but I do also remember coming across the abandoned stand again some weeks later. The aged lemonade tasted kind of like beer to my pre-adolescent palate. Maybe that was the beginning of my beer-making experiments around the same age: Inspired by accounts of stills, rum-running, and Prohibition-era outlawry in The Salt Book and the Foxfire books, I had apples and water (among other things) fermenting in jars behind the books on my shelf. These concoctions, as you might expect, were interesting to taste, like the lemonade, but not especially tasty.

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