|Two little Entrepreneurs. Free image, http://image.photobucket|
New Year's Eve, 2011. I was on my way to C-Town on First Avenue for a shoulder of pork for Roast Pork with Cranberries, requested by my friend for dinner that night. My trusty little Nikon was in my bag, has been since the shutter bug bit a few months ago.
Walked down 88th St. And there, leaning against the railing of that huge apartment building, was a regular metal cardtable chair. On that chair was a cardboard box, maybe 2'x1'x1'. Next to the ensemble was another chair with a framed print standing on it. I didn't get to study the picture.
'Everything a dollar,' two little girls, a Caucasian and a Chinese, were trilling out at passersby, some of whom stopped.
I got up to them. "Everything one dollar,' they sang at me. 'Two dollars for the picture.'
'Well, what have you got?'
The eagerly pointed out and picked up items to show.
Not much of interest, some little kids' readers, a puzzle or two, a small doll. But there was a small hard cover 'Campfire Songs' for children, with a CD on the inside cover and words of the songs. It was beautifully illustrated. 'Ronan will like this', I thought. My 4 year old grandson.
'I'll take this.'
'Do you charge tax?'
'Hunh?' Four wide eyes and two mouths agape.
'You know, tax.' I was grinning. 'Never mind. When you grow up you'll hear all about it.' Taxes is my bugbear.
I drew out a dollar bill for their money box. They were so sweet, I asked, 'May I take a picture of you and your stall?'
They looked unsure. "Oh, I'll have to ask.' The one called McKenna looked back, and there, sitting behind the apartment's entry gate about fifteen feet back and looking on, was a white-haired lady. The little girl ran to her and I followed.
"Is it okay if I photographed the girls?'
'Oh, I don't think so. Their mother might not like it. I'm only guarding them today. You never know these days....' A lot left unsaid. We understood.
I sighed. "All right. I understand and can respect that. Goodbye.'
So there you are. Sign of the times. A friendly innocent overture rebuffed because of some criminal internet predator-monsters. Sad, but maybe necessary.
Anyway, I walked back the same way after my shopping and the girls were still there, with a few items left. They had been successful. Looking hopefully at me, they said, 'two dollars for the picture.'