My First Business

5 Nov


We have a guest blogger today, who I will hope will visit us often. Leon Holecheck is a retired architectural draftsman who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is a childhood friend of Bill Lites. . Leon has always been thrilled by the circus, and when he was 15 the small Diano Circus came to town and when they left, Leon (with his folks’ permission) left with it.   He didn’t stay with that circus long but returned home to finish his education. You can read his full bio here.


My First Business

Leon Holecheck

Leon & Bill


It was about 1944 (I think I was 6) and it was a hot sunny afternoon. The temperature was in the 90’s and I decided that I was going to open a new business and make a lot of money. My mother would give me an allowance of 15 cents every Saturday for helping her make the beds, empty the trash, run errands to the grocery store and a few other chores. It just didn’t ever seem to be enough money for me.

I decided that I would set up a stand and sell Kool Aid out on the front yard in the shade of my favorite tree next to the street. I thought it was a wonderful idea and knew that many people would come and buy a glass of Kool Aid from me at five cents a glass.


I told my mother what I wanted to do and she agreed to help me. Boy, was I excited! I went into the garage and got an old wooden orange crate that I could use as a counter, and placed it next to the street. She gave me a nickel and I immediately went around the corner to the grocery store and bought a package of strawberry Kool Aid.


I took the package back to my house and gave it to my mother. She took a large glass pitcher and filled it with ice cubes from the icebox, and then poured the contents of the package into it. She added sugar and filled it with cold water. She stirred the contents and gave it to me.

She also gave me a glass and a small towel.

I took the pitcher and glass out and set them on the orange crate. I started yelling “Kool Aid for sale.” There were no people walking up or down the street, and it never occurred to me that the neighbors might be staying indoors out of the heat that day. After a while, my throat got dry from yelling, and I decided to have a glass of Kool Aid.



As I was sitting there on the grass, I soon realized that I did not have a sign for people to read about what I was selling. I took the pitcher with me and went inside the house to make a sign. I took a piece of white paper and a pencil and wrote “Kool Aid 5 cents.” I took the pitcher and the sign back out to the orange crate and attached the sign to the front of the crate. Surely that would help me sell a lot of Kool Aid, and I would be very busy. There still were no people walking up or down the street, so I drank another glass of Kool Aid.

As time went by, I had to drink another glass of Kool Aid because of the heat. I even took my shirt off it was so hot. One car drove by and I yelled at him, but he didn’t even slow down. I used the T-towel to wipe out the glass when I was finished.

At the end of about two hours, I got bored sitting on the grass waiting for someone to walk by. The pitcher of Kool Aid was almost empty and I decided to call it quits. I drank the last glass of Kool Aid and took the pitcher and glass and towel back in the house. That was the end of my first business venture.


—–The End—–

3 Responses to “My First Business”

  1. Old Things R New November 5, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    Leon, I enjoyed this story. I have vague memories of my attempt at a lemonade stand. Thanks for writing this story and I look forward to more.


    • Louise Gibson November 6, 2014 at 8:20 am #

      Very nostalgic. I have vague memories of an attempt to sell Kool-Aid (couldn’t afford to make lemonade : – ) Looking forward to more of your writings.


      • DiVoran Lites November 6, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

        Leon has written an excellent book on his experiences at the circus. Bill and I are hoping for blogs on that, too.


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