473 The Church Fair
Note: this was to have been auto-published one day earlier than it appeared, but the genius who handles that put the wrong date in the "schedule" column.
There's nothing like a bazaar at a Catholic church to make a New York Jew feel welcome in the middle of nowhere.
The bazaar itself was nothing much. The usual pre-Christmas tchatchka tables. The wheel of fortune. The tree ornaments. But there was a difference.
First thing, there was our pal Yetzy with his two pre-adolescent boys in tow and an open can of beer in his hand. Good stuff, too. "Hey, beer in church?" "Hey! We're Catholics." Ceremonial beer? No. They were serving wine and pina coladas as well. And they were carding people.
Then there was the brass ensemble. A trombone, a trumpet and a couple of twisty horns, behind which were young girls who not only could play music, but could play music together. Brass instruments in the hands of youngsters trying to play in harmony generally drive people out of the hall in a big hurry. Not these.
And there was Father Basketball. Why Basketball? Well, for one thing, he apparently is wearing one around his middle and for another, he seems pretty tall cruising the floor beaming benevolently from behind The Collar and the Irish sweater.
It's tough for a New Yorker to NOT identify with the rolly pollys who manned (or womaned) the table. There's a looseness among the people at this thing that you don't often find around here.
I'm not dissing the people who aren't like this. They are, after all, part of what we learned during the Presidential campaign, the Real Americans.
But every once in awhile it's nice to stand among and converse with people who don't have perpetually strained neck cords and clenched jaws.
These guys probably didn't vote the way we did. They probably have a completely opposite views on such matters as heaven, hell, abortion and guns. But for the first time in a long time we-all didn't feel like invaders from another planet. Or maybe refugees from another universe.
One woman, from Frankfurt, said she came for the food and for the football game on TV.
We didn't stay late enough for that.
But I have to tell you, there's nothing like a piece of home made carrot cake and a glass of white wine in a church to make a New Yorker feel at hom.
--Most of the leaves are off the trees. This makes the world look pretty baron. But that's okay, they'll be back.
-So will the Gypsy Moth Czar, a guy they hired to catch and kill those pests. He did such a good job last year that they're going to take a chance on him again, but don't bet on that lasting if there's a real invasion this time.
--A fancy local supermarket says it's reducing prices by abut 20%, expecting lower costs for 2009. So what's lower now than it was a year ago, wholesale food, rent, taxes what? Only the cost of help -- which always can go down when you fire a lot of people.
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them (sm)