Tracy Navarro, left, and her sister, Kimberly Evans.

Tracy Navarro, left, and her sister, Kimberly Evans.

Kimberly Evans held up her garage sale find: three pairs of gloves. These were not just any gloves.

“Kid gloves!” the Brookfield woman and her sister, Tracey Navarro of Warren, emphatically intoned in

“Just beautiful,” Evans said. “Old-fashioned. You don’t see those anymore. You can’t buy those anymore. It just so happened that they fit me. I was pleased about that.”

That just goes to show that you never know what you might find at a garage sale, she said.

On this day, Sept. 4, Evans and Navarro were perusing the booths at the Route 7 Garage Sale, set up on
the green in Brookfield Center.

The Route 7 Garage Sale has gone on for years, but this was the first year that the Brookfield trustees and
the Yankee Lake Village council decided to promote the sale and set up space for vendors in the most
visible parts of their towns.

The elected officials of several towns along Route 7 in Trumbull County banded together to promote the
sale, which stretches from Hubbard north to Conneaut, and the reviews were universally positive.

Trumbull County Tourism Bureau registered vendors, created an online map, blitzed social media and put
up promotional signs. Bureau Executive Director Beth Carmichael said Brookfield Trustee Gary Lees
approached her about finding ways to promote the Route 7 corridor, and they settled on the Route 7
Garage Sale as a first effort.

“We took this event as an opportunity for the leadership in the towns and townships to work together and
build a stronger east Trumbull economic team,” Carmichael said. “We understand from many that it was a
very successful weekend. And we’re happy to be a part of that.”

Yankee Lake Council President John Nezdoba said he appreciated the bureau’s contribution.

“They definitely got the word out,” he said. “I appreciated them handling the reservations.”

Evans said she and Navarro were wary of coming because of COVID, but decided that it being outdoors
was safer, and they could still wear masks.

“It’s a way of bringing the community back together,” Evans said, adding that she enjoyed seeing people
out and about “after so long.” “I think people are enjoying it, too,” she said. “It’s interesting to see how people live in terms of what they collect.”

“The community has fallen apart, and this just brings them back together,” said Navarro, who
complimented Trumbull County Combined Health District for holding a vaccination clinic in Brookfield.

“Because of COVID, it (community) fell apart, and now it’s coming back together,” she said.

Ashley Castner of Kinsman, who found a number of items for her 4-month-old daughter, Loretta, said she
liked the way things were set up on the green.

“It’s nice having it all kind of central here,” she said.

In Yankee Lake, where vendors were allowed to sell Sept. 3-5, vendor Shawna Fedorko of Brookfield
noted that she had people coming to her booth of vintage and retro items and repurposed furniture from as
far away as Altoona and Pittsburgh.

“When we heard Yankee Lake was having it, we just wanted to come out and support our community,
because we love Brookfield,” she said. “I love that they finally do stuff with Brookfield. We’re small town
people. We grew up here our whole lives. I love it. I think it’s awesome. I wish there was more they could
do to bring our community together.”

Deb Bailey

Deb Bailey

Vendor Deb Bailey of Transfer, formerly of Brookfield, said she enjoyed the visibility she had at the Yankee Lake site.

“I live out in Amish land,” she said. “I wouldn’t make in a month what I could make in a day here.”

Vendor Elaine Wilson of Youngstown said she liked the space that was available at Yankee Lake, which is important to her because she sells at flea markets as a way of teaching her son, Maurice, who has
autism, social and practical skills.

“Everybody’s not so crowded,” Wilson said. “It will be good for him, because it’s not cluttered; I like this one.”

The sale was not limited to “official spaces,” and many people who live on or have access to lots on
Route 7 set up tables of goods in their driveways and yards.

Jerry and Dee Law of Erie struck gold at a home site at 968 Route 7, north of Brookfield Center.

“This is the best one by far,” Jerry said, as he filled a box with Fiestaware that he planned to give to his
son. “We spent a lot of money here.”

Dee Law hands garage sale finds to her husband, Jerry, at a Brookfield home that was participating in the Route 7 Garage Sale.

Dee Law hands garage sale finds to her husband, Jerry, at a Brookfield home that was participating in the Route 7 Garage Sale.

“I was begging him (Jerry) to bring me,” Dee Law said. “This is fantastic.”

Nezdoba said Yankee Lake Mayor John Jurko, who provided space for the village setup, reported good traffic for the vendors on Sept. 3 and 4 – Sept. 5 was pretty much washed out by rain – and the Yankee Lake Party Store, which Jurko owns.

“He was happy with everything that transpired,” Nezdoba said.

John Vornous, owner of the Brookfield Diner, and Matthew Chu, owner of Belly Buster Sub Shop, said the sale was great for their businesses.

“The diner does better when they’re doing it,” Vornous said.

Chu said he was ready for extra business, and got it.

“It was a great day,” Chu said. “It was one of the best days of the year.”

Masury resident Judy Radachy said the sale was “fabulous,” but traffic, especially in Brookfield Center,
but also in places where people parked on the side of the road and crossed Route 7, was dicey.

“A friend of mine actually got hit,” she told the trustees Sept. 13, adding that the friend was OK.
“I saw a couple of close calls,” Radachy said. “People who are not familiar that it’s happening and travel
that road wouldn’t know what’s going on.”

She suggested placing warning signs for motorists entering Brookfield Center.

Police Chief Dan Faustino said there rarely is a problem southbound on Route 7 because of the layout of
the green, but there are a lot more people coming into conflict with the traffic pattern in the northbound
lane. That’s why he had a cruiser parked next to Route 7 with its warning lights on to try to draw people’s
attention that something extraordinary was going on, and had two auxiliary police keep an eye on the
proceedings throughout the day.

promoBrookfield officials thanked Office Coordinator Tabatha Dickson, who handled planning, registered vendors and acted as vendor liaison.

Trustee Dan Suttles also thanked Lees for his work in establishing the event.

“It really showcased Brookfield,” Suttles said.

Lees said the involvement of the tourism bureau was crucial, and noted that Dickson, who also was a vendor, was “very excited for next year.”

“I think, from the reports that I received from the vendors, they were very energetic for next year,” Lees
said. “We’re hoping to get a bigger crowd next year. It’s a good jump start.”

Carmichael encouraged vendors to “save up those sales items and participate in the 2022 event.”

Navarro said she would come back to shop next year.

“I’d be very disappointed if they stopped doing this,” said Evans, Navarro’s sister