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You need it? They've got it

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Janice Guttzmiller puts prices on Christmas items in the flea market area Wednesday at Expo Hall in preparation for the St. Gabriel auction. The flea market is open Friday and Saturdayand the auction starts at 10 a.m. Saturday.
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Jim Ringley holds two Fritz Conwell paintings from the Patsy Miller estate that will be up for auction Saturday at the annual St. Gabriel Auction at Expo Hall. The auction starts at 10 a.m. The flea market is Friday and Saturday.

By DARRELL SMITH

dsmith@newsexaminer.com

Almost anything will be available at Expo Hall Friday and Saturday when St. Gabriel Parish hosts its annual auction and flea market.

Volunteers wore gloves, coats and hats Wednesday as they brought in, sorted and priced items. With temperatures outside in the teens, it was a far cry from past years when they had doors open and some worked outside cleaning up items.

The auction is a month early this year to take advantage of the break in the sports calendar between winter and spring sports at Connersville High School, said Maryke Kleve, event chair. The goal is to get more young people from the church involved in the sale because after the last week of March, spring sports get busy and the kids will not be as readily available.

This year’s auction has many items from the estate of Patsy Miller, who donated funds for construction of the John H. Miller Community Center in honor of her late husband. She passed away in March 2018.

Among them are two Fritz Conwell paintings and an armoire.

“It is beautiful,” Kleve said of the armoire. “We have a lot of her ornate tables and a quilt, also really gorgeous.”

The Conwell paintings are from 1950 and 1953. Conwell, 1888-1958, is one of the better known Fayette County artists. Donations from the estate also include a John H. Miller signed painting and a 1993 award to him for service to Indianapolis Archdiocese Foundation with a picture of Pope John Paul II. There is also a painting of the Newkirk Mansion in the winter by an M. Calloway and a painting by local artist Ethel Rusterholz.

As always, there will be beds, recliners, sofas, bunk beds, tables, chairs, a nearly new refrigerator and various appliances.

Roger and Mike Koons will continue their tradition of providing auctioneer services. The auction begins at 10 a.m.

On the flea market side, a set of Thomas Kincade plates is available, complete with a wall rack for display. Some Hummel & Goebel figurines from West Germany are available, Kleve said. Some are labeled 1933 with the company mark.

There are several Norman Rockwell collector plates, a set of Charles Wysocki Peppercricket Grove collector plates and Luray Pastels dishes.

Looking at a $300 Boehm bridal gown peony wall hanging, Kleve said, “You just don’t know what you’ll find.”

There are two new counter-mounted restroom soap dispensers and seven new ceiling lights that a company ordered but did not use; rather than sending them back, they donated them, Kleve said.

Also available are the usual items like exercise equipment, golf clubs, books, DVDs, VHS video tapes including sets of Three Stooges shorts and the Civil War Journal. Christmas items fill several tables; lamps are plentiful as well as candles and holders.

Books include a 2013 Connersville Bicentennial green book containing pictures of the event and a Harry Smith “Pictorial History of Connersville.”

Mary Ann Miller pointed out something she had never seen before in her many years of working at the flea market, a wooden nativity set called “pillars of heaven.”

“There’s the baby, and they’re all graduated,” she said. “They’re so pretty and they have Bible verses.”

She and her sister Janice Guttzmiller put prices on the Christmas items and arranged them on the table.

It is hard to know what will show up from year to year. Last year, they had no toys; this year toys, filled a couple tables.

“My husband and I pick up items year-round so people don’t just get rid of it,” Kleve said. “They will have us come pick it up. They are stored at the school and Cackle House (storage).”

“Every year we wonder if we will have enough but we have more this year than last year,” said long-time volunteer Louis Wilhelm.

Kleve summarized: “If you need it, we usually have it.” 

 

If you go

The annual St. Gabriel flea market and auction is Friday and Saturday at Expo Hall, 2690 Park Road.

The flea market is Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday starting at 8 a.m. Grocery bags can be filled for $4.

The auction starts at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Proceeds go to St. Gabriel parish.