Chuck Williams: A lemon, a penny and a thought

September 16, 2013 

Some people want to complain.

All they do is sit around belly aching and moaning about this, that or something else. They look at the lemons and can't find a way to make lemonade.

It is just not something they do.

We all know these people. We work with them. We are impacted by them, and in some cases we are related to them.

Good people, all, but …

Which brings me to Saturday morning on Broadway. Nothing brightens my day like Saturday morning on Broadway.

The Uptown Market draws a unique crowd of people selling their wares and homemade food products. You find everything from an Auburn wreath to fresh pepper jelly.

It also brings a unique crowd of buyers.

But last week something happened that was out of ordinary. These two young men dressed in white T-shirts with bright yellow and black duct tape were walking the 1000 block of Broadway.

"Life," it read on the T-shirts.

I was fully prepared for an anti-abortion message as the men approached. They gave me a lemon and an envelope with a Pablo Picasso quote on it.

"Everything you can imagine is real."

Inside the purpleish envelop was a dirty, worn copper penny, dated 1959 -- the year before I was born.

A lemon, a penny and a thought.

What an interesting gift from a stranger.

A lemon, a penny and a thought.

I am still not sure what to make of it.

Who does this? What kind of person wakes up on a Saturday morning, gets a bag of lemons, a fistful of pennies and writes Picasso quotes on an envelop?

Not me. And probably not you.

I wanted to know. And I am sure others did, too.

Turns out the men said they were soldiers from Fort Benning. I didn't get their names, not that it was important. The only thing that indicated military was the haircuts.

One was from Los Angeles and the other from Oklahoma City.


"Just wanted to brighten someone's day," the one from California said.

The one from Oklahoma assured me there was no hidden political agenda or secret motive. Just two guys dishing out lemons, pennies and thoughts.

Here's how I read the message:

We all have lemons in our life. The way we react to these lemons -- making lemonade or not -- is our choice.

One penny is not a lot. But if you save your pennies, the accumulation can be significant.

As for the Picasso quote, we all imagine things. Sometimes they become reality. Many times they don't. But it never hurts to have a vivid imagination.

A lemon, a penny and a thought.

Imagine that.

More Chuck Williams:

Chuck Williams: Not even an ex-wife can mess up a Saturday afternoon at a Georgia game

Chuck Williams: Pasko's death hits close to home

Chuck Williams: Columbus State making community proud

Chuck Williams, senior editor for content,

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