Hard times and fresh air

Regionites share reasons for not joining Friday's rush for the mall
2008-11-29T00:00:00Z Hard times and fresh airBRIAN WILLIAMS
November 29, 2008 12:00 am  • 

CHESTERTON | Not everyone was buying into the buying extravaganza of Black Friday.

"Who's got the money?" said Daren Samplawski, one of many area residents taking advantage of a brisk trade in fresh air and bright sunshine at Indiana Dunes State Park.

"We're having a real conservative-spending Christmas," said the Portage resident, out walking dogs along the beach with Dianne Malfese, of Valparaiso.

"The weather's great, it's beautiful out here. Rather be here than out in the crowds," Samplawski said.

Porter resident Bill Fagerstrom was sweeping the beach with his metal detector instead of hitting the malls.

"I ain't working -- no money," said the industrial painter, who has seen his contract work at the Arcelor Mittal steel mill dry up.

"The money's right here," said Fagerstrom, showing off several quarters and an encrusted "wheat" penny.

"Things'll get better. They can't get worse," Fagerstrom said. "I'm just gonna ride it out. I can still hunt. I can get my own food."

Also beach combing was Jim Kozy, of Chesterton, who said he wanted to "just get out and get in the fresh air basically and work off that turkey and pumpkin pie."

The malls, he said, held no allure.

"I don't need anything. Most people go for the bargains -- the clothes and things. I don't need any clothes."

Izabella Bultrowicz and her husband, Jon Noriega, came from Chicago simply for a walk on the beach.

"It's such nice weather," Bultrowicz said. "Better than (being) in a store. I don't like crowds, so I'm not going to get up at 4 a.m. to save 30 percent. We'll go shopping on Sunday."

Fagerstrom also said he'd take care of Christmas shopping later.

"The day before, that's my usual. I'm that last-minute shopper."

But dog-walker Malfese said her shopping wouldn't wait so long.

"We were talking about hitting the stores later on today, actually," she said.

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