In June 1989 I was driving hard on US 20 across the Nebraska panhandle, on my way to do an interview at the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge.
On the edge of some tiny town—Rushville?—I saw a little boy and girl sitting behind a table, selling lemonade. They had no customers.
I should have stopped. A photo of their stand on that sunny June day would have gone into my stock photo file. And I would have bought lemonade. I could probably have taken their picture in Rushville, Neb., in 1989 without being branded a pedophile/kidnapper.
But I did not. I was in a hurry. And later I kicked myself for that decision, all the way to Valentine, Neb., and subsequently.
So I made a vow, which I have mostly kept in the subsequent 22 years. If at all possible, when I pass some kids selling lemonade, I stop and buy a cup. (Even if it's watery, crappy lemonade made from the cheapest frozen mix full of high-fructose corn syrup. A little won't kill me.)
The most recent time was last month in Colorado Springs. Two boys raising money. One wanted an iPod; the other had no specific goal.
Yet some local-government idiots want to ban this little exercise in capitalism. That is why, come Saturday, August 20, you should celebrate National Lemonade Freedom Day.
If you have kids who can set up a lemonade stand, help them do it. And if you are out and about and see a lemonade stand, buy a cup or two.
Selling lemonade is not a crime.