FLASHBACK FRIDAY: The Second Time Around Sale

This weekend is a busy one at my church – our largest fundraiser, The Second Time Around Sale takes place!  This is an annual, gigantic garage sale that utilizes several of the many rooms in the basement and on the first floor of our church building. Downstairs are the clothing, tools and sporting goods, toys, and holidays departments, and upstairs are housewares (one of the largest and most successful departments), jewelry, antiques, books, CDs & DVDs, popcorn sales, and homemade baked goods. Outside is the furniture tent and food sales (hamburgers, hot dogs, brats, chips, soda).

The clothing department. Items sell for a couple of dollars.
The clothing department. Items sell for $10 a bag (as much as you can stuff into a plastic grocery bag!)
Clothing department volunteers
Clothing department volunteers
antiques
antiques
Advertising for popcorn  sales
Advertising for popcorn sales

The last Sunday of every month is collection day. People clean out their basements, closets, summer homes, etc. and donate tons of items. It all gets stored on the stage behind the curtain and in the basement, until April when volunteers sort and price everything. On the three days of the sale, more volunteers work in each department to sell the items and collect the money, pack them, etc. People come from miles around to this sale and go around with shopping carts and huge shopping bags to find the best deals. You know the old saying: “One person’s junk is another person’s treasure.”  We generally net between $15-23,000 on this fundraiser alone.

To celebrate this annual event, I am dedicating this week’s Flashback Friday to the Second Time Around Sale at First Congregational Church of Des Plaines, Illinois.

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The same month that I went to that Bulls game in 1991 that I wrote about last week, I also bought some cheap furniture and housewares at the Second Time Around Sale to help furnish my ex-husband’s apartment. The lack of furniture and household goods seemed to be an excuse for him not to move out of my apartment and into the one he had rented, so I spent about $50 that year “encouraging” him to move by buying a floor lamp, a living room chair, some pillows, plates and glasses, a fan, and a dinette set.

All the volunteers on the days of the sale wear yellow t-shirts, which are washed and reused every year - if you don't get there early, they might be out of your size!
All the volunteers on the days of the sale wear yellow t-shirts, which are washed and reused every year – if you don’t get there early, they might be out of your size!
jewelry
jewelry

I have worked in various departments during the sale over the last several years, including the food tent (one year it was so rainy, cold and windy, that the tent barely provided any relief, and another year we were all sweating under the plastic tent with hot smoke from the grill billowing around us!), holiday (where I got a great deal on a Christmas tree that we’ve used ever since, and a set of Christmas dishes that I pull out every year for a family holiday dinner), housewares, and toys.

The food tent
The food tent
Getting into the
Getting into the “holiday spirit”!

I purchased a lot of games and cheap “prizes” for my students during the times I worked in toys, and every year I find something worth a dollar or so to buy in housewares!

The toy department is set up in the nursery in the basement.
The toy department is set up in the nursery in the basement.

One year we got a great crock-pot for $3, and I’ve also bought toasters and blenders for friends who have no money to buy things new.

Housewares, always a busy, popular department.
Housewares, always a busy, popular department.

Flyers go up around town and people take stacks of them to distribute at their workplaces. I have seen people I know from far-flung suburbs show up at our sale.

I think this year’s sale is the one to which I’ve donated the most: last September, family members met at our summer cottage in Northern Wisconsin to clean it out, since we are planning on selling it this year. We left furniture and household goods necessary to both show the place and stay there during warm months before it’s sold. Other than the basics, though, the rest had to be gotten rid of! There were nearly 50 years worth of accumulated stuff that either got thrown out or stuffed into bags for donation! We went to Minocqua, the nearest major town, to find out the hours of a donation center there – but alas, it was closed for several weeks! So we rented a trailer, filled it to overflowing, covered it with a tarp and hauled it back to Illinois in order to donate it all to my church’s sale!  The last Sunday in September, I kept the volunteers at church very busy as they unloaded numerous black trash bags stuffed with our cottage memories!

loading the trailer
loading the trailer
kitchen clean out
kitchen clean out
bags of stuff for the Second Time Around Sale
bags of stuff for the Second Time Around Sale

The last several years, I have been assigned to housewares, but this year I’m back to working in toys and the food tent. I’m in for a busy weekend!

Volunteers enjoy a lunch break with burgers from the food tent.
Volunteers enjoy a lunch break with burgers from the food tent.
Our pastor wears a sign advertising raffle tickets for
Our pastor wears a sign advertising raffle tickets for “split the pot” – half of the $$ goes to the church, half to the winning ticket.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: A fun night at a Bulls game

Note: Once again, I am late with this feature! I had computer problems yesterday, so here is Flashback Friday on Saturday!

In 1991, the Chicago Bulls were at their peak. That year began a three-year winning streak, known as the first “three-peat”, with an all-star team including Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippin. Michael Jordan was becoming one of the most famous people in the world. It was said his name was known even in remote villages in underdeveloped areas of the world.

The Bulls, 1990-1991
                                                                                    The Chicago Bulls, 1990-1991

I had been living in the Chicago metropolitan area for two years and I was infected with “Bulls fever” along with everyone else, even though I wasn’t particularly a sports fan. I had always liked basketball, but not enough to watch an entire game on TV.
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At that time in my life, I was in transition. I had filed for divorce from my first husband a couple of months earlier, but he still lived with me – temporarily, while he looked for a job to support himself and an apartment to live in. It was a very awkward situation because I was looking at the future as full of possibilities and opportunities. A time to cast off old prejudices and resentments and to try things that were new and different.
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A woman at my job was trying to set me up with a friend of hers, twice divorced and fighting a bitter custody battle for his two-year-old son. Stan (all the names of non-famous people have been changed) was the opposite of me: a sports fanatic, he enjoyed fishing, fixing things, country music, playing the guitar and writing songs. He was not intellectual, but was crazy and fun-loving. Fun was what I sorely lacked and needed more than anything. And I was drawn to Stan because we were both vulnerable. Probably not the best basis for a relationship.
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My first Bulls game was on April 5, 1991. Stan and I double dated with my friend from work, Lisa, and her husband, Joe. They didn’t actually have tickets to the game, which were prohibitively expensive. Plenty of people with limited resources relied upon “scalped” tickets. If you got to Chicago Stadium early enough and cased the parking lot, there were plenty of scalpers around who would sell you tickets for a reasonable price.
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Lisa and I waited in her car while Stan and Joe went to look for “the brothers”, apparently a couple of well-known scalpers. While waiting for the guys to come back, we gossiped about people at work – entertaining, but I began to get antsy. Where were they? I was worried the game was going to start before we got in! When they returned, they explained Joe looked like a cop known to “the brothers”, so they were scared off, and they had only managed to acquire two tickets in the upper balcony, seats one in front of the other. Doing the gentlemanly thing, they gave the tickets to Lisa and me, while they stood in the back. In spite of not having tickets, it was apparently easy to get into the stadium if you got in by 7:45. During half-time, Stan bought us hot dogs and cokes, while the two of them drank beer.
chicago_stadium
We had missed the first part of the game waiting to get tickets, but it was worth it. Watching Michael Jordan play from our view in the balcony was amazing – he was like a dancer weaving his way across the court, sidestepping the opposing team’s players. It was something I would never have noticed had I watched the game on TV. Slam dunks are highlight moments, and cool to watch wherever you are, but the subtleties of the game are easily missed without being close to the action. And there is always the atmosphere at the game, excited fans all around, shouting, waving banners and red & black pom-poms, the noise of the buzzers, the squeaking of the players’ shoes on the floor, and even the smell – indoor sports events have a particular smell, a combination of sweat, stale indoor air, beer – even the ball, the net and the floor exude their own odor.
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The game got exciting toward the end, as the Bulls closed in on San Antonio’s nearly 20-point lead. Jordan was superb to watch and so was No. 14 (Craig Hodges), who threw several long shots (3 points each). However, San Antonio won the game 110-107. I didn’t care – it was close, exciting – FUN.
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chicago-bulls-logoThe Bulls won their first championship title that year, with 61 wins and 21 losses in the regular season, 15-2 in the playoffs. It was their first NBA championship in their 25 year history, and they were the first team to go on to win 3 in a row – TWICE. Michael Jordan was voted NBA’s Most Valuable Player for the second year in a row and won his fifth consecutive top-scoring title, reaching the 15,000 point mark.
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When we left, we passed by a souvenir stand and Lisa said, “Oh, look, Katy, they have the T-shirts you wanted.”
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“Don’t be silly, I can’t afford a T-shirt,” I said and we kept walking.
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As we crossed the street, I noticed Stan was no longer with us – he was back at the souvenir stand!
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He came running up with 2 pennants, one for himself & one for me. From a guy like him, that was like receiving a bouquet of flowers! Stan was the type to never allow a woman to pay for anything on a date, and I realized he had spent $50 on me that day! I put the pennant up in my bedroom, and whenever I looked at it, I remembered that evening as one of the first days that I’d had fun in a long time.

1990s_Chicago_Bulls_PennantTo read up on this amazing basketball team, I recommend:

The History of the Chicago Bulls - a book by Roland Lazenby
The History of the Chicago Bulls – a book by Roland Lazenby

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Siblings – History of a family

Due to family commitments, I was unable to get on my computer yesterday to post something for my weekly feature. So I am doing it today…better late than never!

Yesterday, April 10, was “Siblings day” on Facebook, which I didn’t know until today! So for my FLASHBACK FRIDAY feature this week, I feature groups of siblings that tell the history of my family:

Bissell children - my grandmother (my mother's mother), Katharine, is the 2nd from the left.
Bissel siblings – my grandmother (my mother’s mother), Katharine, is the 2nd from the left.
L-R: Margaret (my mother). with her sisters Julia & Mary ( "Honey") - early 1930s
Thom siblings – L-R: Margaret (my mother). with her sisters Julia & Mary ( “Honey”) – early 1930s
L-R: Allen P. Lovejoy, John T. Lovejoy & Robert C. Lovejoy (my father),1922
Lovejoy siblings – L-R: Allen P. Lovejoy III, John T. Lovejoy & Robert C. Lovejoy (my father),1922
Lovejoy siblings: Back Row L-R: Mary, Allen; Front Row L-R: Julia, Katy (me), Alix ("Wixie")
Lovejoy siblings (next generation):
Back Row L-R: Mary L. Sweet, Allen P. Lovejoy; Front Row L-R: Julia L. Weiser, Katy L. Berman (me), Alix (“Wixie”) L. Waeffler, 2005
The Sweet siblings: Robby, Betsy, Maria (Oct. 1976) -
The Sweet siblings:
Robby (7), Betsy (6 mo.), Maria (5), Oct. 1976
The Weiser siblings: Mike, Maggie & Jenny (all wearing T-shirts) with their names printed in Hebrew)
The Weiser siblings:
Mike, Maggie & Jenny (all wearing T-shirts with their names printed in Hebrew), early 1980s
The Waeffler siblings: Tom (age 5), Julia (with hat!) (age 2).  My father is behind them leaning on the pier.
The Waeffler siblings: Tom (age 5), Julia (with hat!) (age 2), 1985
My father is behind them leaning on the pier.
The Lovejoy siblings (my brother Allen's children): Leslie, Paige, Allie, about 1996
The Lovejoy siblings (my brother Allen’s children – 3rd generation) : Leslie, Paige, Allie, about 1996
Berman/Villa-Alvarez siblings: Tamara Berman (my stepdaughter) & Jayme Villa-Alvarez (my son), San Francisco 1998
Berman/Villa-Alvarez siblings: Tamara Berman (my stepdaughter) – age 22  & Jayme Villa-Alvarez (my son) – age 13, San Francisco 1998
Sweet siblings (my nephew Rob's sons), Jordan (age 10) and Joshua (age 6) in the hot tub at their house in Indiana, 2008
Sweet siblings – 2nd generation – (my nephew Rob’s sons), Joshua (age 6) and Jordan (age 10) in the hot tub at their house in Indiana, 2008
Keriazakos/Jacobs siblings: Their mother, Maria (Sweet) Jacobs (my niece) is pictured with Grace Jacobs (age 4)  & Nicholas Keriazakos (age 17), spring 2014
Keriazakos/Jacobs siblings: Their mother, Maria (Sweet) Jacobs (my niece) is pictured with Grace Jacobs (age 4) & Nicholas Keriazakos (age 17), spring 2014

Other descendants from Robert & Margaret T. Lovejoy are not pictured because they do not have siblings (yet)! All of these are under the age of 5.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Easter 1991

It was always fun to see my nieces at Easter, wearing new dresses and their Easter bonnets! Here are Allie (age 2), Leslie (age 4), and Julia (age 8) at my mother’s house, all gussied up for church!Allie & Leslie Lovejoy, Julia Waeffler

It’s amazing to consider that all of these young ladies now have children of their own or soon will! Allie has a son who is almost 5, Leslie has two young sons, and Julia is due to have her first child, a daughter, in about six weeks. It has been wonderful to watch them grow up and now I enjoy seeing their children grow up (even if only on Facebook)!
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Whichever holiday you celebrate at this time of year, or the celebration of spring and new life, I hope it is joyous!

Check out the latest on We Are Such Stuff IV

I have posted two more pieces on my new blog, We Are Such Stuff IV!

1942: Dad promoted to midshipman, a continuation of my father’s letters to my mother when he was in New York during naval training;   and

Thomas prepares for the ministry, 1802-1806, which is the second installment of the first chapter of my book on my family ancestry.  In this excerpt, the Rev. Thomas Thomas (my 3-greats grandfather) studies at Hoxton Academy – his first formal education at the age of 26! – where he trains to be a Independent minister.

wwiinavycadetv5hatobv

Thomas Thomas, drawing by his son, Thomas E. Thomas. This is the only known portrait of him.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: 1972

1972head

That was the first year I could vote in a national election. I worked for the McGovern campaign, designing my own flyers and placing them under windshield wipers on nearly every car on my college campus.  McGovern promised peace in Vietnam – an end to the war.
1972_McGovernCampaignsUnfortunately, Nixon won, by a landslide! Nixon pledged “peace with honor” in Vietnam.

Nixon1972Little did we know then that some illegal activities had been carried out by the Nixon campaign  to discredit the Democrats!

The Watergate complex
The Watergate complex

The Watergate break-in would become so famous that the word “watergate” became synonymous with political corruption for years to come.

The Vietnam War raged on.

1972-Vietnam War1972VietnamAt the summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, 11 Israeli athletes were killed in a terrorist attack.

The 11 Israelis killed in the Olympics terrorist attack.
The 11 Israelis killed in the Olympics terrorist attack.

A plane carrying members of a Uruguayan rugby team crashed in the Andes. Two books and a movie would be released about the ordeal of the survivors.
1972-andes-plane-crash-site-and-survivors1Yikes! Lots of bad news! Still, we look back on those tumultuous times with nostalgia, remembering our own lives in our 20s.  My husband was about four years into his teaching career. He taught history and sociology at high schools on the south side of Chicago. Also, being a teacher allowed him to avoid the draft. Last night we found this picture of him in his classroom that year:
Dale1972And there was always our family’s cottage in Northern Wisconsin. Here I am enjoying a warm summer day among the pines:

Katy-early 20sMy husband and I both married other people and eventually divorced. Both of us had one child in our first marriages. We weren’t destined to meet each other until nearly 20 years later!