Yea, we had the penny stand too. But we had it in a “Bazaar” or “Carnival” in our backyards. It was kind of like a garage sale or yard sale with games to play and things to win. This was in Staten Island in the late ’60s.
Forget about lemonade stands – we had a penny stand. We’d take a very large glass jar — like the gallon pickle jars from the deli — and cut a slit in the lid large enough to put a penny through. We’d fill the jar with water. On the bottom of the jar, we’d center a shot glass. Kids would come by and send a penny through the slot, trying to get the penny to end up in the shot glass. Which of course, almost no one ever could do. The lucky winner would get a nickel. Now that I think back on it, we were underage gamblers!! No wonder some many of my generation love Atlantic City.
Kool-Aid stands were big in my neighborhood (upstate New York in the 60’s). But one day my friend and I tried a new angle… We got a hold of a refrigerator box, which we placed upright and decorated (with crayons? markers?) as a “Kool-Aid Machine”, just like a Coke vending machine. We cut a hole for the customers to insert their coins, and an opening from which the Kool-Aid could be dispensed. Then we got inside the box and waited for our customers. When they inserted their coins, we would pour the Kool-Aid (from inside the box), and a little hand emerged from the opening with a glass of Kool-Aid. What a “blast” we had!
Jack, the good humor man, was a fixture of my childhood. He looked like A GOOD HUMOR man, with white mustache and white uniform, and never a harsh word for kids. He waited patiently while we decided…He was an outstanding role model!
On a hot summer’s day, a friend and I decided to go into business. We took one of our Mom’s glass pitchers and filled it with icecubes and lemonade. We set up a folding table in front of a neighborhood park bench, placed the pitcher and some paper cups on top, and waited … Soon, wide eyed thirsty kids appeared. We charged 10 cents a cup, and at the end of the day, we had a total of 50 cents. We split the profits and gave it all away to Jack the icecream man! ; )