October 12, 2011


by the Ladies' Auxiliary

From what I can deduce of scant second hand info floating about the internet, feather parties originated in the 1920s in the Eastside Detroit Polish community. This was at the peak of the city's immigrant influx when most churches were often teemed with parishioners and the Archdioses couldn't erect the next structure quick enough to meet the needs and demands of the new arrivals.

Since many were poor and culturally inhibited by the customs of their new country, which they earnestly tried to assimilate into, and often couldn't afford the lavish American holiday dinners, the churches held live turkey raffles to ease their burden, hence the "feather party" was born. Along with the king fowl they raffled off some ducks, geese, chickens, rabbits, and even small pigs as well. For an excellent blog post concerning the first feather party check out Creative Gene.

As for this party sponsored by the Huron River Post of the Ladies Auxiliary VFW, along with Philips Super Service, Kott Bros. Footwear and Real estate (nice combination!) and Belleville Recreation (bowling center owned by Ed and Les Elward), and held at the Sumpter Roller Rink in Belleville, Michigan, the bird of choice was a 1946 CHEVY!

Since I don't know butt-kiss about cars I'll guess that there was a standard car and probably a truck, station wagon, etc. Either way that's a brilliant looking gangster car but especially when you add a spotlight and seat covers to the beastly machine.

As for the skating rink itself: it's kaput. It's not closed down but has been renovated into a modern skating facility and now goes under the name Rollers Skate Park. Since I loathed roller skating when I was younger and never went I can't really comment on it either way.

The four tickets that I have were found inside a book that was purchased several years ago and just recently uncovered while rummaging through my junk box of beer caps and miscellany. I need to get me some more miscellany methinks.

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