My Uncle Gil was the youngest of my grandmother's three sons. My dad is the oldest. My dad is 12 years older than my uncle. I always figured my uncle would be around forever. It is weird as hell when someone who is a constant in your life passes. I spent many a Thanksgiving watching football with my uncle at my grandparents' house, then later at his house. He had tremendous sports knowledge. He was a sports writer for the student newspaper at Bradley University in the early 1970s. His work was great. He could have been a professional sports writer if he wanted. He also had a tremendous collection of autographed postcards that he accumulated as a kid in the late 1950s and early 1960s. I loved looking at those postcards. My earliest memory of my uncle is from July 4, 1969. I was a little runt stuck standing in front of a wooden fence while a suburban parade went by. My folks couldn't care less that I was nose to nose with a rickety fence covered in lead paint but my uncle saw my disappointment, picked me up and placed me on the ground in front of the fence so I could see the parade. It's the little things in life that you appreciate. I always appreciated my uncle for that little act of kindness those many years ago. RIP Unc.
Well, it seems like forever since I was last set up at the Orland Park baseball card show. I think I missed three Orland shows this summer. One I skipped for my vacation to New England. A second show I skipped so I could prep for the National. A third show I skipped because it was the week after the National and I was too tired. It was good to be back this past Sunday, August 25, 2013.
Upon arrival to the Civic Center around 7:45 a.m., the back parking lot was jammed with people participating in some sort of bike ride thing. There was no place to park so I had to park in the side lot. In all the years I have been setting up at the Orland show, I've never parked in the side lot. Well, it wasn't too bad. It was almost easier to load in and out. I just may start parking there at every show.
There were quite a few empty tables which can be expected this time of year. With fall sports getting started, a lot of dads won't be around at the card show. The tables next to mine were empty which always bugs me. Nevertheless, customer attendance was pretty good. Dave snuck in around 8:30 a.m. and started checking out the plethora of newly reloaded binders I had brought to the show. By 9 a.m., I had a little mob scene in front of my tables. While I can't complain, I was a little unprepared. I did not expect that many people today. Plus, I am a little rusty at helping five or six customers at once. Then there are always new customers at the table and I'm always concerned that some cards are going to walk away. One new customer in particular had one hand on a binder and the other below the table. I get nervous when I can't see both hands. I've been ripped off too many times. Though, I don't think he stole anything.
I had a real nice time catching up with everyone. There is a tremendous group of regular customers/collectors at the Orland show, who I always enjoy seeing. The regulars today were Dave, Rick, Dan, Denny, Chuck, Joel, Paul, Steve, Gil, Jim, Derek, Rich, Chris, Joe, and Dennis. Thanks guys for making my day! Then Corey showed up out of the blue. Cory is affectionately known as "stats" because he has just about every baseball statistic memorized. I haven't seen him in about three years. I first met him when he was in eighth grade and his mom would drop him off at the Orland show. He's entering into his senior year now at Columbia College as a journalism major. He told me he has an internship coming up at the Sun-Times. Way to go Cory!
I also had a bunch of new customers today and a bunch more regular customers whose names I can't ever seem to remember. Early onset of alzheimer's. The "Other" Tony was up from Champaign. We partnered at the National. It's always great to the see Tony S. I also appreciate Tony's purchases. A big thanks to everybody today!! I had an absolutely terrific day!!!! I sold a ton of cards. I couldn't be happier.
I also bought a few things. I picked up some 1960s and 1970s football along with a few baseball stars from the 1960s.There weren't a whole lot of folks bringing me things to buy today. Denny had a nice stack of stuff but it was low grade and I can't offer much for low grade because i can't sell it for much. We couldn't agree on a price. Though we did make a trade.
After the show, Chuck and I went over to Submarine City. Chuck did the beef while I had the meatball sandwich. I love that place. Since we lost the hot dog lady at the show, seems like Submarine City is mandatory after every Orland show.
Next Sunday (September 1, 2013) I'm setting up at the Best Western Plus in Schaumburg. It's been a while since I've been at the Schaumburg show. I don't know what Uncle Morty is doing without me. I'm currently working on reloading my 1964 Topps baseball binder. I should have it ready to go by Sunday. I also may work on some 1957 Topps football. Then I have a bunch of star cards I need to price out for my display cases. So, I should have a bunch of new material out Sunday. Hopefully, some of my Orland regulars can trek up to Schaumburg this Sunday. I'm looking forward to another great show!