Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wellfleet Swap Shop Celebrates Twenty Years

Wellfleet’s Recycling Committee organized a potluck supper at Preservation Hall tonight to celebrate our swap shop’s 20th birthday. The swap shop is Sven’s favorite destination, so attendance seemed obligatory. Guests arrived with yummy food, chatted with each other, and then got down to business: dinner!
The Recycling Committee’s recent acquisition, community cutlery, was used. Afterwards, Chair Lydia Vivante welcomed everyone. She distributed coupons for the farmers’ market to those who had been influential in the swap shop's creation – David Wright, Chuck Cole, Harriet Korim, Danny Silverman. Caleb Potter crafted the coupons, which bore the design of a carrot. Chuck Cole explained how Danny Silverman’s condemned house had been dismantled – flaked – and transported to the dump twenty years ago.
Then, it was time for show and tell. Chuck described how, on Christmas Eve, he went in search of a Christmas present for daughter Soleil, an eight-year-old who had recently started riding horses, entered the swap shop and found, on the table, an English saddle custom-made for an eight-year-old. I brought an oil painting Sven had found. Cleaned and appraised, it turned out to be worth $500. Cape Cool’s Harriet Korim held up a swatch of Native American bead work from the swap shop. A woman, who has lived here for only three weeks, described finding two bowls to match a set she loved.
Dina Harris showed off a teacup, part of a set, and raved about several first-edition books, discovered over the years. Everyone had a story to tell and everyone expressed the same fondness for a place that allows us all to recycle stuff we don't want or cannot use.
Paula Erickson described how she had taken home swap shop items only to discover they had been donated by friends. She also suggested that presents you didn't want and had received from folks in town could be recycled at the Truro Swap Shop instead. Below, Harriet shows off her treasure.
After dessert, attendees watched slides of Danny’s house being moved and a short pro-recycling, Made-in-Wellfleet video. Harriet and Rick Arnoldi sang a song, but the star of the evening was, of course, our marvelous swap shop. What treasures have you found there?