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Flea items, books, gifts and Roaring 20’s for the holidays

By Rod Lee

At businesses up and down the main roads between Webster and Dudley a week before Shop Small Saturday, signs that the holidays were near at hand were very much in evidence.

Even the multi-colored lights that blinked brightly at the end of the lanes at Mohegan Bowl on Thompson Road in Webster seemed indicative of the season, although they were illuminated for a different reason. “We’ve got thirty birthday parties over the weekend,” a young female attendant, busy behind the sales counter, said, as children chaperoned by their parents tried their luck at tenpins, candlepins, arcade games and laser tag.

Anticipation was also in the air several miles away at the Dudley Do Right Flea Market on West Main St. in Dudley.

“Christmas, things always pick up here,” Betty Fay said. Ms. Fay, who has been a vendor at the flea market for about a year and a half, was showing a couple of patrons a hardcover first-edition copy of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “A Child’s Garden of Verses.”

Holding the book out for examination, Ms. Fay said “the cover may not be in the greatest shape, but check the pages.” These were adorned with illustrations. “They’re perfect,” she said. “I look for the unusual. That’s what brings people in.”

Deb Horan’s Booklovers’ Gourmet, a quaint independent shop on East Main St. in Webster, was already brimming with unique gifts for the holidays when Lonnie McGown, Jennifer O’Brien and Shelley Locke settled into a corner of the store with their laptops to work on novels they are writing. Ms. Horan had made the space available to them in celebration of “National Novel Writing Month” (NaNo, for short). The idea of NaNo is for would-be authors to write a 50,000-word novel between November 1st and 11:59 p.m. November 30th.

Ms. McGown, twenty-four years old, described her book as “four LGBT kids to young adults who are kicked out of their homes and living in an abandoned house in Northern California. I started it in 2012. I’m calling it ʽOut.’

Ms. O’Brien, who is twenty-six and an art teacher at David Prouty High School, said her as-yet untitled book is “a fantasy story about characters with magic powers, a little bit like Harry Potter,” set in the Boston area. “I want it to be a series,” she said.

Ms. Locke, thirty-four, said her book, also yet unnamed, delves into “what it’s like to be psychic.” All three were excited at the prospect of their completed works occupying spots on the shelves alongside such authors as Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oates.

A stop at My Brother’s Place on Gore Road in Webster just before closing time prompted a member of Barry Henley’s staff to tout the restaurant’s upcoming “1920’s Prohibition Dinner,” which is scheduled for December 9th at 6:30 p.m.

The event will feature a first course of shrimp cocktail, lobster puff and smoked salmon canape, a second course of an A5 Japanese Wagyu Ribeye with garlic mashed potatoes and vegetable and a third course of sweet tats with a chocolate sorbetto and sea salt caramel gelato.

My Brother’s Place, which opened in 2009, is celebrated for its New England Clam Chowder. Come December 9th, it will take a step back into the Roaring Twenties with fare fit for that period (1920-1933).

Contact Rod Lee at [email protected] or 774-232-2999.