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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Selling at a Church Flea Market for the first time....October 9, 2011 West New York, New Jersey

My Aunt Donna is a parishioner at Our Lady of Libera Church, in West New York, NJ.  My family (on both sides) have long ties to this church.  My grandmother & grandfather were married in 1934 there, my older sister, Toni and me were both baptized there by Father Fanelli (later became Monsignor) in the 60s.  Father Fanelli even married me the first time (I am remarried as of 2009, I guess the first marriage was cursed from the get go) in 1990 when I was 6 months pregnant. Yes, I walked down the isle with a white puffy wedding gown. Then, my baby (now 21) was Baptized there when she was just a month old.  We even had the party there in the church hall.
Our Lady of Libera Church in WNY, NJ


How does that Happen you may ask?  I don't really know, my mother (divorced) arranged the ceremony and the baptismal. I guess church politics...my Aunt Carol had a lot of pull there too.  Seems sort of scandalous, right?  Nobody said anything to me.  I guess you could call it Catholic Lite.  My family has never been strict religious people.  It was 1990 after all.  Madonna was vogue-ing and the initials of  LGBT was in use for disusing Homosexual issues.


In the Mid 80s, my mother, sister Roxie, my Aunt Carol, Uncle Pete and their son, Steve along with many family friends all participated in their annual Variety Dinner and Show called the "Calender Party".  As young adults, I would go with my sister Toni and  gather up our gay pals and attend the show every year.  We all just LOVED It!  We saw it as campy and a bit scary but loved seeing my uncle in Drag!   Actually, Uncle Pete was in many skits and we renamed the event, "The Uncle Pete Show".  There were Seniors (my mother and aunt were the Hot Chicks in their mid 40s) in leotards kicking up their heels like Radio City Rockettes!  Ok, maybe not just like the Rockettes, but they tried....and they were serious about it!  
Me with my New and Improved Husband Jim
July  2010 at Il Villaggio 
Father Fanelli fueled the show each year with his love of Broadway and they would do all sorts of pieces of his favorite shows.  


My mother would practice the time step in our kitchen with her slippers on while cooking dinner and then running out to practice.  We would laugh at the sound of her feet on the floor...swish, swish....actually,,,that swish, swish sound would start getting on our nerves.  They practice each night for weeks before the first curtain went up. 


This was no joke when renting the costumes.  They were all rented from a professional  shop in Manhattan that catered to Broadway shows.  


The dinner consisted of roast beef with gravy, string beans almondine and little roasted potatoes from a can.  We actually loved the roasted potatoes. The older women would serve it up nice and hot on Styrofoam plates.  Oh and of course, yummy local Italian bread and butter.  They even had a cash bar where you can get a cocktail in a clear plastic cup!  This was all for about $15 bucks!  Not bad, right?


But everything has changed which is just the way life is.  After Father Fanelli became a Monsignor, they named the street behind the church after him then he was transferred to another in Jersey City; which, turned out to have the best Feast ever with great food, entertainment and even gambling behind the the church.  But, the new priest that came in cancelled out the "Calender Party"forever....the Parishioners were not happy about that and now only memories and video clips remain of the old show. 


So, now years later, 20 something years later, my Aunt Donna who still attends church there on Sundays, called to see if I was interested in selling at their Flea Market which will take place Rain or Shine in the same auditorium as where the Calender Party took place, year after year.   


I have decided to pack up my collection and set up shop!  I have never sold at  Flea Market before and I have been planning on trying it.  I will take the plunge and report back on how it went. I am glad this opportunity has come my way, (Thanks, Aunt Donna) since, this is my first Flea, I am glad to try it out in a place that feels comfortable to me.  With all the memories of all the people and good times, I am looking forward to being there once again.      

If you are local...come and see our table...thanks for reading and have a fab day!  Gina 

October 9, 2011  - 6am - 3pm 
Our Lady of Libera Church,West New York, NJ