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Church Bazaars Dave Troland trollman I used to look forward to the annual bazaar at Our Lady Help of Christians in Tottenville. Loved playing the "knock the cats off the shelf" game trying to win a straw hat (although the thoroughly beaten and tattered stuffed fabric "cats" had nothing feline about them) and the ring toss (10 rings for a quarter, Hoffman soda bottles).

I can remember playing the wheels of chance trying desperately to win a pedal car, a top shelf prize that required the wheel to stop "in the red". I kept playing #1 in the red and sure enough I won. I was screaming "I want the car! I want the car!" like I was on Wheel of Fortune or something. The man running that booth kept offering me the luggage like some kind of joke, and I just jumping and screaming "I won the car!!!", attracting quite a crowd (until they realized it was a 4 foot car, not the Ford Galaxy 500 that was being raffled off).

Years later our parish received a new pastor who will remain unnamed (you Tottenvillites remember) who cancelled all future bazaars. He instead began this program called "The Green Bazaar" which was essentially blackmail. It was an annual funds drive (green cash) but what separated this drive from others was that each Sunday in the back of the church was the updated list of EACH PARISHIONER AND THE AMOUNT OF THEIR GIFT! Thus, instead of listening to the homily, everyone was scanning the list to see where their "gift" stood in relation to others. What a scam!

Anyway, bazaars are alive and strong here in NJ at many parishes. Unlike in my youth these bazaars have huge rides with "wristband Thursdays" where you can ride all night for one price. It's a big thing over here.

Keep spinnin' that wheel!
Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnngggggggggg tick tick tick tick tick tick .. tick ... tick
Winna! We got a winna ovah here!
Anyting on the middle shelf, little lady!

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