By John Schaffner
Julie Ann Holder, (left above), a freshman at The Lovett School, and Nina Riggio, a freshman at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, finished running in the Brookhaven Bolt and walked from Ashford Park to the Brookhaven Bazaar looking for cool stuff.The best friends are residents of Brookhaven. The events complemented each other, making for a fun Saturday in the community.

May 15 was a bazaar day in Brookhaven, and that was a good thing. It also was a day when a bolt hit Brookhaven, and that, too, was a good thing.

What I am talking about is the annual Brookhaven Bolt race to benefit the Ashford Park Elementary School, followed by the inaugural Brookhaven Bazaar which will benefit Clacks Corner Park.

The Bolt was run under the bright sunny Saturday sky on a warm and somewhat muggy spring day. The Bazaar was held in the covered first-floor level of the parking deck behind Village Place at Brookhaven, the mixed-use development on Dresden Drive.

I didn’t make it out early enough to see the runners who participated in the Bolt, but I did make it by around 11 a.m. to see just how well the first Brookhaven Bazaar was being received.

I must admit, I had never been to a market held in a parking deck and was very curious how that would turn out. Vendors bought parking spaces in the deck for $35 to display their wares.

Debbie Mayer, who was there asking for donations for the Ashford Park Elementary School, trying to sell some of her real estate and hawking memberships for the Brookhaven Community Connection business and civic association, said the $35 space rental fees would go toward fixing up the Clacks Corner Park for the community.

I think I counted about 20 booths at the bazaar, some taking up more than one parking space in the parking deck. Presumably, those who took more than one space were paying more than $35.

There were vendors selling oriental rugs and what could be classified as antiques. There was a coffee vendor, a jewelry vendor and Kim Gokce hawking the Cross Keys High School Foundation. And, there were no less than three fitness organizations spreading the word to think thin and healthy. I was not their role model.

I did not see a lot of potential customers walking through the parking deck. However, I was only there for a little over a half-hour and the bazaar was going on until 5 p.m. that day.

The event may not have raised a lot of money for fixing up the Clacks Corner Park, but the bigger question is, What did it do for the community? Events such as this can help build a sense of community and I am sure that was one of the goals.

Ron Patton, the organizer for the Brookhaven Bazaar, said, “I think these types of events bring the community together to make it more cohesive and brings good people together.

“We start with this right here. We get a little traction and show that we can actually do something good and next year we get a little better,” he explained. “Each time we learn. Each time we grow. I made a lot of mistakes on this one, but I have also learned a lot and we are making a lot of friends. So, it is a good day,” he said.

“We had a lot of support from the Brookhaven Bolt people. The Bolt ran right by. We have had a lot of runners from the Bolt. We are working together to make it a better community,” Patton stated.

By the way, it was good to see all the cars and people activity around Village Place at Brookhaven that Saturday at lunch or brunch time.

The mystery park

After leaving the Brookhaven Bazaar site, I decided for the second time to try and find Clacks Corner Park and take a few photos of it for our files—and maybe to use with this column.

For the second time, I thought I followed the directions given to me, but – again– I never found the park.

I have been told to take the road by Haven restaurant for a couple of blocks and the park is right there behind the restaurant. Not that I could find.

I have also been told to take Conasauga to Canoochee Drive and it will lead me right to the park. I tried that too. I am either blind or not following the right directions.

I guess the only way I am going to find this park is to hop into the car of some local and have them drive me there. Do I have any takers?