Toomer Family BLOG

Our goal is to celebrate ALL Toomer family members today and yesterday. This blog will include history, genealogy, and reunion news. Additionally we will share our talent in poetry and prose, along with spotlight news on family members.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Flea Market Fun at the Berlin Auction

Items for Sale, Bopping and Gypsy Moths

We had a good day at the Berlin Farmer’s Market. My brother Maurice Jr. sat with me in during the early morning hours. Then cousin Emily arrived with a huge bag of great items. She had clothes, shoes, toiletry gift packs and other items. The toiletry packs were picked up before we could unpack everything.

The next arrival was Loretta and Mike. Now great household items were being placed on our table. There were boxed kitchen appliances, a power painter and more. This was such great stuff that we needed more room. Our one table was not sufficient.

Glaring at my neighbor’s three empty tables, I looked for more real estate. It was well into market hours and I figured that maybe this vendor has taken the day off. Maybe they went to the shore for the day. Yeah that’s it, the shore. This gave me the incentive to do the wrong thing, use my neighbors table.

Our used items looked really good, spread out and categorized, instead of being in one big heap. Soon Mom called asking for the exact location. Five seconds later she was pulling up. Her additional household items were merged into our growing area. We had completely filled one of our neighbor’s tables and were sneaking towards using another.

Just before cousin Patsy arrived our neighbor pulled her van into her spot. I remembered her from the last time that we were at the Auction. She is a regular vendor and has been selling for years. Mostly she sells clothes. With plenty of clientele and friends she has a steady stream of customers. .

All of our neighbors are regulars. Hosta man was on our other side. The side of his truck said Sitting Pretty and it has something to do with pets. I call him Hosta man because he had a table of little Hostas. Dude actually had drive up clientele. People drove up, popped their trunk and loaded up on Hostas. I commented on this. He said that when this happens, he knows that it is going to be a great sale. People generally do not drive up and buy one plant.

Patsy called from her cell to get the exact location and inquire about a parking space. At the time, none were available, but quickly this changed. Mom body blocked the front spot until Patsy arrived. A burgundy van approached the spot. Loretta, Em and I looked on, ready to ensure that Patsy got the space.

After we scrambled to get the stuff off of our neighbors table, we laid a blanket on the ground and set up the items formerly on our neighbors spot. This time we included the baby toys and books that Patsy brought with her.

We had a good time and our neighbor taught me the two step. Just the two step, not three, or moving about or anything. So I can not say that I can bop. Of course we had the Tippin Inn song (We Ain’t We Jammin) playing. People were stopping and looking. A couple of the customers tried to learn to bop also.

There was a lot of energy in the area at this time. We talked about Uncle Albert and Uncle Nealie’s bop styles. One day I will be able to take the Advance Bop class from Patsy, but I have a far way to go.

Not being about to bop pains me. I can dance; I just do not know what my hang up is. Mom really should have taught me to bop when I was young. (Boppers teach your kids. Kids ask your parents to teach you. It would be great to have teens enter the Bop contest.) They say that I am looking at my feet too much. Many people have tried. Sharon Baylock has tried before, Loretta, Patsy, Mom, Bobby, and others have tried, but I am truly pathetic.

But today the neighbor gave me a little confidence on two steps. This is something that I can build on. One of my genealogy buddies, Andie, offered to teach me. I believe that she will not give up so quickly. She may be tough enough to enhance my two steps and move me up to three. Then I can take an Advanced Bop class from Patsy. She will teach me the Toomer way.
Once my confidence is up I will contact the Toomer Bop champions, cousins Althea and her sister Anna. They are the daughters of James Toomer, Proprietor of Tippin Inn. From them I will take a Getting the Most Out of the Bop class.


I remember laughing at my great great uncles as a child, wondering how they got their feet to do that when their legs were doing this. Everyone loved to watch them dance. Due to the longevity and the antics of Uncle Albert he enjoyed the spotlight for a long time.

In addition to bopping, we sold items and fought the gypsy moths. Yes I said gypsy moths. Spring and summer are great, but I could live without the bugs. They fell out of the tree hitting my car and the ground, squirming there way to our blanket. We kicked them into the street, but tires and heels always missed them by a quarter inch. We kicked them back into the woods, but they headed for the blanket anyway. Next week we will have spray and we will not sit under their birth location.

We need more items family. Check your closets and garage for the gifts that you received and never used. Feelings will be hurt. It is better to donate it to a good cause. Appliances, gift packs, clothes, shoes, jewelry, knickknacks and many other types of items sold.

We will be at the Berlin Farmer’s Market next Saturday (every Saturday in May). We are in row T space 54. Contact me if you have any questions.

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  • At 2:30 PM, Anonymous Marianne said…

    Hey Mele, glad to hear that everything went well last saturday. I couldn't make it due to an engagement in Orange, N.J. but even though this weekend is mother's day weekend I am going to make the sacrifice and put in a few hours. I have plenty of stuff and Susie is donating quite a bit as well. Hopefully we'll do even better than we did last week.


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