marty took anthony up to the bank to deposit money into his account. anthony, aged ten, handed his slip made out for over one hundred dollars over to the teller. she pulled it towards her, lit up and said, "boy that is a lot of money--where'd you get all this money?"
to this anthony said, "i sell things in the alley."
marty instantly knew that sounded a lot worse than it should. but it is the truth. behind our house is a walkway that connects a major university with a vibrant urban business district. during the school year this walkway is routinely trafficked by the university population. over the years our kids would set the occasional table up to sell everything from hot chocolate to cookies to knitted hats and even wild flowers plucked out of the back yard. on that wildflower day when i walked back to check on things a gaggle of sorority girls were taking turns taking pictures with the young boys selling their little white and purple flowers. bella stomped a foot at the unfairness of their selling tactics.
i'm not quite sure how or why it started but this year every monday after school anthony sets up a table and spreads his home made crafts out on it. his crafts namely consist of popsicle stick structures and origami he's made. most days, he will make anywhere between five and ten dollars for his wares which he sells for about fifty cents a piece. in between customers he sits on a folding chair and reads.
a few years back he sat back there with a sign that his sales were going towards his college fund. on that day he made over a hundred dollars. stopping back there recently and seeing no sign about his cause i asked him what happened to his college fund sign. he said he wasn't saving for college anymore and this is just for his regular savings. i commented that it was too bad because he made a lot more when he had the college sign. he shrugged his shoulders and said, "yeah, but that would be a lie." folks might say a lot of things about our anthony but one claim they will never level against him is that he isn't a "truther" which is what he calls honest people (and is the opposite of a liar-face, a term we picked up from salt lake keri).
a few weeks back anthony's school was having a fund-raiser. there were prizes for the class that raised the most. anthony dedicated one of his day's sales to the cause putting the school flyer on his table and saying that everything on this day was going to "pennies for peace". he raised $70 on this day and single-handedly put his class in the lead. on the way to school i commented on his ziploc baggie full of bills and coins saying it was impressive that (1) he, at ten, could marshal that sort of influence and (2) it was generous of him to donate a day's sales to a good cause. to this he said it was important that his class got first place because first place got a pizza party and second place just got extra recess and that extra recess was just like ten more minutes of extra recess and at the end of the school day who really cares about ten more minutes on the playground.
i like a man who knows where he's headed.