Fox Hollow was the first neighborhood I could remember. It was only a couple of miles from the city courthouse. Our parents moved there when I was 5. As I got older my friends and I would ride bikes to the city square where we could get a Coke for 35 cents outside the Rexall Pharmacy. (A Coke can also mean a Sprite). But back to Fox Hollow. It was one big circle of houses, a mile around. I lived a few houses down from my friend Will Garland. (As an aside, Will and I always called each other by our full names. We were Willgarland and Willzant to each other, I guess not to confuse ourselves). The Garland house was the house where it happened. They loved all things British, including gardens, antiques, and Welsh Corgis. It was the place where my friends and I all met. Will’s parents didn’t seem to mind the racket. I give them tons of credit for allowing a bunch of rough boys to run around the house with all the expensive antiques and paintings. The one rule was not to wake up Mr. Byrd at night or else he would call our parents. Will’s room was upstairs and directly over his parent’s bedroom. You were taking your life in your own hands to try to sneak down the steps. They were the loudest steps in the world. Will’s older brother would later introduce us to the rooftop exit off of the upstairs playroom. Thankfully, it was only an 8 foot drop to the porch.
One of my first memories in Fox Hollow was setting up a lemonade stand. I’m pretty sure our parents just wanted us outside the house for a while. Will and I lugged a table down to the bottom of the hill. Our parents dropped off the lemonade we had made. In fact, we had made it from scratch. Will and I squeezed lemons, mixed in sugar and chipped out the ice from his freezer. It was quite the Norman Rockwell moment as we set up shop near the bottom of the circle where Fox Hollow Drive and McCaskill Drive intersected. There was a creek at the intersection where we would spend hours in the summer with small nets trying to catch crawdads. (Are there crawdads in Georgia?)
Our parents had instructed us not to pester our neighbors as they drove by. Will and I stood behind our handmade sign that priced the lemonade at a quarter. Sure enough, our neighbors stopped and gave double our cost. We stored our earnings in a Tampa Cigar box. We split the money at the end of the day. I saved up for some Upper Deck Baseball Cards. But what I remember the most was the next day. The next day, my dad was driving me home from school. As we turned onto McCaskill drive, we were swarmed by 3 other neighborhood boys. They were Will’s older brother’s friends. (I won’t name names). They were the cool older guys in the neighborhood. They were jumping up and down with signs for $1 lemonade. They obviously got wind of our financial prosperity the day before. My father purchased a cup for the two of us. He handed me mine. As I looked out the window, I could see these older guys jumping down towards the next car behind us. I took a sip. It was pink lemonade and weak and had the slight taste of water hose.
As we pulled into our driveway my dad said, “I like yours better.” I asked, “Dad, why did they copy us?” He said, “Will, that’s life. Get used to it.”