The Wayback Machine — The Value of Money

Columbia bike


I had a Columbia bike. They were built like tanks.

I wanted a Schwinn.

I figured if something happened to the Columbia, I’d get the Schwinn. I even rode it into the side of the house, but I couldn’t destroy it. Dad refused to buy me a Schwinn. He said, “Earn one.”

So I did.

We sold cucumbers, bittersweet, and pond lilies door-to-door, for three cents and five cents.

One day, a man wanted to buy some, but he only had a five dollar bill. We considered running off with the money. We didn’t. We got change and gave it back to him, because we knew running away and keeping it was wrong.

We had Bank Day once a week at school, with bank books. We learned the value of money.

I worked. I saved.

My friend’s father rented bikes. Eventually, I bought a used Schwinn from him for $30 of my own, earned money.  I was thrilled.

Learning how to be thrifty, how to make things, develops creativity.

Designing clothes is one thing. Making them is another. Selling them is yet another. The door-to-door cucumber sales taught me skills I still use to sell my clothes!