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Nonna’s Antiques holiday event to benefit Rock Forge food pantry

Debbie Roth time-travels a lot during the course of her workday.

It’s easy to do, when you’re in the memory business, the owner of Nonna’s Antiques said.

She opened her shop at 3100 Earl L. Core Road in October, after finally deciding she might want to give antiquing a go in earnest, having spent a few years renting booths at flea markets and swap meets.

On Sunday, Nonna’s Antiques will cater to both the past and present, its owner said.

That’s the day of a holiday open house for a good cause.

Shoppers are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items, which will be donated to the nearby Rock Forge Food Pantry.

The day runs from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., with a special appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will be available for photographs from 2-4 p.m., in an 80-year-old antique sleigh.

Of course, they’ll be plenty of hot chocolate and other refreshments, Roth said.

And when you donate, she said, your name will be automatically entered for a $50 gift certificate from the store.

Before opening Nonna’s Antiques, Roth was already a successful businesswoman, having owned and operated her B&D hair salon for some 30 years in the Morgantown area.

Her latest business, she said, is just a logical extension to a love of crafting, collecting and antiques she’s had since she was a little girl.

Plus, she was always repainting cabinets and re-upholstering chairs, things like that.

Her eye for the look and the design, she said, comes from being a hair stylist for three decades-plus.

The time-travel component, meanwhile, comes from her antiquing customers, she said.

In fact, she said, since the antique shop’s opening day this past Oct. 19, they’ve been giving the retail-reaction coveted by any owner of an establishment catering to the past times — that may have been the best times in one’s life.

That lunch box? Oh, wow. That’s the same version you carried to school every day in third grade.

And that old console radio? You and your grandpa went to that radio-TV repair place his buddy owned to get ‘er going again, so you could listen to the Pirates game in style.

Don’t forget that Fiesta glassware: Your great-aunt put it out for every dinner she ever hosted — but you had to be really, really careful when you handled it.

“I love watching our customers when they walk up and down the aisles,” Roth said.

She loves listening to them, too.

“They’ll say, ‘Look at that, I had that when I was a kid,’ or ‘That takes me back to my grandparents’ house.’ You can just hear the memories.”

It might be different to understand in these days of planned-obsolescence — where it’s easier to toss it than to try to get it repaired — but those bygone things acquired in the moment then, she said, weren’t just “possessions.”

That perfect Christmas gift or that dining room set bought on time from a first married paycheck were just part of our personal archeology, she said.

“Rock Forge does such a good job for families,” Roth said.

“We wanted to introduce ourselves to the community — by doing something for the community.”

Visit Nonna’s Antiques on Facebook for more information about the shop. The phone number is 304-731-3100.

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