Portrait #35: Kool-Aid vendors Quinlan, Jazmyn and William
They—youth selling Kool-Aid or lemonade—settle into the landscape of a Minnesota summer, drawing us like moths to a porch light. We can’t resist cute and industrious kids and the offer of an icy beverage on a sweltering summer day.
The kids photographed here, though, were peddling Kool-Aid on St. Patrick’s Day 2012, when the temperature soared to an unbelievable 80 degrees in southern Minnesota. Kind of like the weather we’re experiencing now, minus the humidity.
Friends Quinlan, then 12, and William, then 10, were experienced entrepreneurs having sold Kool-Aid the previous year on the same busy street corner in Faribault. Sometimes it’s all about location, location, location.
Usually, it seems, these pop-up business owners have a plan for their profits. The summer prior, the boys had reinvested their money in the business and then spent the rest at the local Aquatic Center and Rice County Fair and on video games. They had yet to allocate the new season’s funds, although some had already been spent on Hot Wheels at the next-door garage sale.
I hope you’ve stopped at a kid’s lemonade or Kool-Aid stand this summer and dropped a quarter or more. Kids who take the initiative to set up a stand and then sit for hours vending beverages show determination and gumption. They’re also learning the value of working for their money. That I’ll support.
The Minnesota Faces series is featured every Friday on Minnesota Prairie Roots.
© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling