In the good ‘ole summer time way down-south in ‘ole Starkville, what better way to pass the hot days off than three good friends building a home-made lemonade/hot dog stand and setting up business right on the busy street corner of Lousiville and Wood Streets, and yelling very loudly, “Lemonade/Hot Dogs For Sale! “Y’all come on over and get some!”
It is summer time which is the second and warmest season of our year between spring and autumn during the hot, hot, hot and very humid, humid, humid, June, July, and August. We in Mississippi get the summery or warm and very almost uncomfortable days, but some way each summer we do seem to survive the sweltering heat waves we get in the hot, hot, hot, summer time weather.
How do you enjoy spending your summer? You could spend it playing and turning summersaults which are flips through the hot heat wave we all experience, or you could build yourself a cute little lemonade stand and throw in a hot dog or two, and set yourself up in a self business on a busy corner, and scream out a the top of your voice. “Y’all come on over to our front yard on the corner and get yourself something cool to drink!”
Look at these three “rag muffin” typical good ‘ole Starkville and All-American kids. May I introduce you to “Jimbo” the oldest of the three, and he is sorta in charge — he likes to run things as well as “run his mouth” and be “The Boss Man!”
Hank is slightly smaller and younger, but you know what “they” say, kids really grow a whole lot in the summertime.
School seems way off and these three kids are surely living in the present. They are making the most of one of our typical summertime days, and having lots of fun also!
It was a hot day in July in the year of 1975 that I decided to paint a very whimsical subject of three cute children standing on the corner, having a blast. Oh, they felt so important.
Just look at this neighborhood crew as they could be called. Look at the real wooden hand-made r ...barely holding together... stand! There stands (or rather leans) “the bossy one,” Jimbo. His big old brown eyes, pug nose, and determined smurky smile just leaning so casually on that stand. His red tee shirt, and those hips and his baggy blue jeans with pockets filled with change to make change for their “customers to be!”
He borrowed that giant glass pitcher from his moma’s kitchen cabinet and the glass, an old peanut butter jar, washed out to become a sorta of...to “Jimbo” a fine piece and suitable crystal glass piece...fine enough to serve a king a tall glass of this fine lemonade that had been fixed just right and ready to consume!
They had been up to Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store down Wood Street and Highway 12. They took their wagon for transporting all their needed food supplies, and got some hot dog buns and real hot dogs, mustard, mayonnaise and picked up a jar of chow chow pickles to go inside the mouth-watering hot dog.
To help “Jimbo” are his two “bestest” friends in all of the world. Hank and a cute little prissy girl- friend named, Priscilla. She fits her name for sure. Hank had on his suspenders with his faded old blue jeans. They were “hand-me-down” jeans from his older brother, and he just needs those suspenders to keep them from falling down below his knees. They are sure enough lose and baggy just the way he likes them and cool too with his fat little tummy exposed to get the slight breeze that might just blow his way today!
Little “Prissy” whose real name is “Miss Priscilla” has on her red polka-dotted short cool dress and look at her heavy black rimmed glasses. Are these old-fashioned glasses not to “die for?”
All three kids are barefooted so they can feel the cool dew from the soft grass in the front yard on their toes and this makes them so cool too, just being bare-footed in the summer time.
Are these three not the cutest three kids you have ever seen?
I can hear them now. “Oh, look here comes Clara Dell down the sidewalk, bet she will purchase a glass of lemonade and maybe a hot dog too. Here comes Bessie too, and there is old Mr. Prichard driving up and turning into our drive way in his old rattling, beat-up pick up truck. Get ready now, here they all three are coming our way. We are going to have lots of change rattling around in our blue jean pockets today.
I think back about my own childhood growing up in this very spot and address of 501 Louisville Street and corner of Wood Street, when my brother, Johnny who is four years younger than myself decided to set up a “Tomato Stand” underneath the old Pecan Tree (which this year that very Pecan Tree as well as five others scattered around this big old yard, will celebrate its 100 years on this earth.)
In this particular tree, we use to climb up high and sit and watch the traffic pass us by, and tell each other our deepest secrets.
Daddy, John Andrew McReynolds, II, had a great backyard garden and daddy grew the very best homegrown tomatoes in all of Oktibbeha County! He had this fine reputation, and these mouth -watering tomatoes that were absolutely divine!
We had a similar stand, and we had a sign in the front of ours, hand-made, which said, “Home-Grown Tomatoes For Sale”... “Honk Horn If We Are Not Out In The Front!”
We would wash and polish daddy’s fine juicy red tomatoes until they shinned like a penny!
Johnny and I would hang around our tomato stand all morning. Sometimes one of us would climb way up high in the pecan tree and look down on our customers.
We had white scales to weigh our tomatoes and sometimes it seemed one fat tomato would weigh in at four pounds or slightly less.
They were what daddy called his “Big Boy Tomatoes!”
Moma would yell from the front door, “Carole and Johnny, y’all come on in for dinner now!”
In we would skip and run, and turn our little home-made sign over to... “Honk Car Horn If We Are Not Here Out In Front Yard!”
We would hear a honk honking, and up from the oak kitchen rounded table would we jump to go and take care of a customer or two!
Off we would scoot, slamming the front screen door behind us to sell daddy home-grown tomatoes sacking them up for our customers and squeezing the paper bag at the top, and saying “Y’all come back now, and thank you so much!”
The hot afternoon sunshine began to feel hot and Johnny and I had money jingling in our blue jean shorts.
We remembered that there was a good cowboy picture show down at the Rex Theater not too far from our home, and we wanted to go and spend it downtown on Main Street within walking distance from Louisville Street.
So what did we do? We first ask Moma. She said, “Okay, and y’all take care of each other and come back home as soon as it is over now.”
We turned our sign over, “Honk Horn On Car If You Need Tomatoes” and off we skipped and hopped on down the street leaving Moma to “hold down our tomato stand” until the picture show was over.
Oh, those wonderful good ‘ole days and memories of growing up with our home grown tomatoes and tomato stand back in the 1950’s. We were “Kids of the 50’s!” The absolute best time to be just kids in the good ‘ole hot summertime growing taller and bigger in those summer months so long ago when living was laid back and seemed to be an easier way of life than today’s busy way of living.
Oh, well, each generation thinks they have every day living in the summer time as “The Time Of Their Life” as Johnny and I thought so too back when and then!
Checking in with “Jimbo”, Hank, and Priscilla (“Prissy”), they had a great, wonderful day too in 1975. They had money jingling in their blue jean pockets and dress pocket too at the end of the day. Clara Dell, Bessie and ‘ole Mr. Prichard all bought both a tall “mouthing watering” glass of Lemonade and a hot dog dripping with real almost tasting like Moma’s real home-made mayonaise (but it came from a jar from Piggly Wiggly’s Grocery Store),and bright yellow mustard and that good old chow chow pickles falling all out and all over the customer’s clothes this summer’s day.
They cleaned up their mess in the front yard underneath the old pecan tree and stacked and packed their home-made stand away for another day. Said” good-bye” to each other and gave each a “high five,” and I heard one of them say, “Hey there is a good movie down at the cinema (no longer is it called, “picture show,” but cinema)...lets go ask our Moma’s if we can go to see the movie, think it might be “Robin Hood” being shown today. “Hey we made enough money to go and get pop corn, real coke ,and we can “throw in” a candy bar too.
I can hear those new coins jinggling right now..and I can hear their voices loudly screaming out... “LEMONADE/HOT DOGS FOR SALE!”