Thursday, June 23, 2011

Prez. Hall Holds First Clothing Swap

Monday evening the Preservation Hall Programming Committee organized a clothing swap and was it ever fun. Sky Freyss-Cole was manning the door when I arrived. The entry fee of $10 entitled you to food and drink, as well as swapped clothing. “The idea came from Emily Frawley,” Sky told me. “I had one at my house last year. Emily joined the programming committee and we decided, as a committee, to do it as a fundraiser.”

“Sky, I’m going to leave,” a woman interrupted. “That was so much fun!”

“I’m going to look prettier tomorrow because of you,” Nancy O’Connell said, exiting at the same time with a full bag of clothing.

By 7:30, 25 people had participated and the party was only half over. It was a young crowd, although Sky admitted some of her mom’s friends had already come and gone. The idea was simple: bring something, take something. Women milled around the tables, holding up a shirt or a pair of jeans. Small children danced around the table in the middle, which was laden with fresh fruit. A husband waited outside. Rosie Hatch held a friend’s one-month old baby while the mother of four tried on clothes. There were shoes and jewelry, hats and bags, aprons. I checked out some of the t-shirts and noticed a quantity of small and extra-small sizes, not perfect for the more mature woman I have become. But that was okay.

“It’s even fun to watch people try things on,” Sky declared. “It’s great because if they don’t like it, you can scoop it up after having had it modeled for you. We even had people join from off the street.”

People, as in tourists, I suppose she meant. Still, the event focused on helping community members improve their wardrobe without spending a cent.

Just then Tracy Harmon Hay arrived with a niece and a bag full of clothing. I heard someone tell her in an excited voice, “I’m going to follow you around.”

A guy came in, spoke to Sky, and turned away,
disappointed that this swap was only for gals. The Preservation Hall Programming Committee plans another swap in the fall. Who knows? Perhaps guys’ clothes will also be accepted?

“I know it will grow from here,” added Ariana Bradford, another committee member, who was eying the collection of shoes, divided up by size, when I introduced myself. “I’ve gotten some really good stuff tonight.”

For me, this event again proved community is alive and well in Wellfleet. And, I took home a cool shirt, too!