Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bolling Community Yard Sale nets profits

Photo by Lindsey Laing
Joseph Bosley, 11, takes a rest from the scorching sun and the pressures of selling at The Landings at Bolling Community Yard Sale June 28.
The Bolling Family Housing Office, The Landings at Bolling, held a Community Yard Sale June 28 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thirty-five tables were packed full of everything from toys to furniture at the Base Pool parking lot. Those who braved the heat and humidity to clear out their clutter were rewarded with a steady flow of local base buyers and bargain hunters.

‘‘The Community Yard Sale is something that’s very popular industry-wide (in property management companies) and a couple of residents asked about it,” said Gail Lee, community director, of her decision to sponsor the event. ‘‘Apparently, Fort Belvoir does one six times a year and it’s very successful. So, it certainly seemed like people (on Bolling) would go for it.”

While the blazing sun took a toll on buyers and sellers alike, the housing office provided bottled water free of charge and by mid-day the shaded areas were prime real estate. But, it didn’t put a damper on sales.

Staff Sgt. Kelly Carter was all but cleaned out of her teenage son’s shoes, clothing and jerseys before noon. She walked away early in the day with about $75 for items her son had outgrown.

‘‘I spoiled him,” said the mother of her son’s expensive sneakers that he can no longer wear. ‘‘But I’m so glad they did this because I don’t think I ever would have done this at my house.”

Other sellers stayed for the duration of the sale, including 11-year-old Joseph Bosley, who was helping his grandmother offload her unwanted items, although a little cheaper than she would have liked.

‘‘We’d be making money if he wouldn’t sell everything for a dollar,” Michella McNally, Joseph’s grandmother, joked. ‘‘No, he is our salesman. He loves yard sales. When he’s at home, he stops people on the street and asks them if they want to buy something at his yard sale.” Joseph is spending the summer on Bolling with his grandfather, who is active duty Army, and grandmother.

While the yard sale seemed to be the Holy Grail for toys and children’s clothing, a few items were definitely not your run-of-the-mill yard sale finds.

‘‘My grandfather-in-law was a taxidermist. They were left to my husband after his grandfather passed away,” said Bonnie Moore, of the collection of exotic deer antlers preserved and put on view in the bed of her husband’s truck. The assortment of their inherited trophies included some from America, as well as Burma, India and Africa. While Moore appreciates their rare beauty, she put her foot down when it came to displaying them.

‘‘I won’t allow my husband to hang them in my house. If you know anyone who wants them, let me know. I want my closet back,” she said matter-of-factly.

The first Community Yard Sale seemed to be a success. ‘‘We might have to do more,” Lee said. ‘‘Since so many people turned out, we may have to do another one before the end of the summer.”

Lee also wants the community to provide the housing office with feedback about the yard sale. ‘‘We would try to support any activity the community wanted as best we could. We would welcome any feedback on the frequency — did we run it well, did we miss something, is there something people would have liked to see at the yard sale, is there a better way to advertise it, etc.”

To offer feedback about the Community Yard Sale or for questions, contact The Landings at Bolling at 202-562-2631.

By Lindsey Laing

The Bolling Aviator

There is no other holiday that fits our nation’s capital more perfectly than Independence Day. Washington, D.C.’s monuments, museums and memorials symbolize and celebrate the ideals our country was founded upon. Never mind that the actual signing of the Declaration of Independence took place in Philadelphia, the declaration is here in Washington, D.C., now.

In order to commemorate our deeply-held rights to ‘‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” here are some events that are fun for the whole family and things that make us proud to be American. This is the way Americans throw a party.

To be absolutely clear, fireworks are prohibited on Bolling AFB at all times... even on the Fourth of July! Don’t go trying to sneak in a few sparklers or bottle rockets. You don’t want your Independence Day celebration ruined by a visit from Security Forces.

Leave it to the experts. After all, on Bolling you have a front row, waterside seat to one of the finest fireworks displays in the country right across the river over the Washington Monument.

It’s one of the great things about being in the military – we know how to throw a Fourth of July party. Walk on over to Bolling Green Park and avoid the traffic. Bolling brings the July Fourth festivities right to you at Freedom Fest. This free event features endless hours of entertainment, food, drinks and of course, fireworks. Hey, it’s a birthday party.

‘‘It’s a long-standing tradition,” Services Marketing Director Donald ‘‘DC” Smith said of the popular July Fourth celebration. ‘‘I think people love it because it’s one of those times where they can get together and have a big family picnic. And with the private organizations providing food and drinks, everything is right there in front of you.”

Children will be treated throughout the day to clowns, games, moon bounces, waterslides and a climbing tower. Adults won’t be left out with a performance by the Honor Guard Drill Team and a deejay to round out this all-around family fun day.

Freedom Fest begins at 3 p.m. and lasts up until the fireworks at 9 p.m. Parking will be available at the BX⁄Commissary parking lots. Bring blankets and chairs for the fireworks show as seating in the park will be limited.

‘‘Last year, I think we had a little over 3,000 people show up and it gets a little more crowded the second half of the day. It’s always best to come early and get a good seat,” Smith suggested.

For more information, contact Richard Totten at 202-767-4107.

If you’re from a small town, a Fourth of July parade might have been the biggest thing ever to hit your town’s Main Street. Floats filled with veterans waving their flags and the high school band playing ‘‘You’re a Grand Old Flag” certainly sums up the holiday for many Americans. It’s no different in the big city. For those of you anxious to venture away from the base this holiday, the National Mall and surrounding downtown areas rolls out their finest for the Fourth.

The National Independence Day Parade kicks off the holiday in Washington, D.C., at 11:45 a.m. each year. Beginning at Constitution Avenue and ending on 17th Street, the parade features a fife and drums corps, floats, drill teams and military units. This is one of our nation’s oldest ways to celebrate.

Everyone loves music. Even the founding fathers would have turned out for a great outdoor concert. A Capitol Fourth, a free concert beginning at 8 p.m. on the West Lawn of the Capitol, features music from the 1980s era band Huey Lewis and the News, ‘‘American Idol” winner Taylor Hicks, ‘‘Great Balls of Fire” singer Jerry Lee Lewis, Broadway performer Brian Stokes Mitchell, Hayley Westenra and Harolyn Blackwell with the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Erich Kunzel. This year’s host for the event is actor Jimmy Smits. While you don’t need tickets, it’s best to get there early. Admittance to the grounds begins at 3 p.m.

If you don’t feel like braving the crowds of revelers, you can watch the concert from the comfort of your favorite armchair. The show will be broadcast on television. Check your local guide for show times and channels.

So, whether you stick close to Bolling or venture out into our capital city, remember it’s the celebration of our nation’s birth. Party like it’s 1776.