I booked a hotel through Priceline and learned that there are some real dumps on Priceline. The Shadeland Motel is nasty! First off, the building is crumbling. There is a banquet hall on one end of the building that looks like it is ready to tumble over. There was a hole in the door to my room where the metal peep-hole lense should be. I was worried that that someone could reach into my room through the hole with a coat hanger and unlatch to door. I was also worried my car would get broken into after observing sketchy folks milling about the hotel. Needless to say, I did not sleep well.
What little sleep I had was disturbed around 5 a.m. when some moron decided to vacuum the hallway. Which brought a few questions. Why vacuum at 5 a.m.? Why bother vacuuming a crusty, disgusting carpet in a crusty, disgusting motel?
It was nice to get out of that hotel in the morning of Saturday, October 3, 2015. I was a good half-hour away from the La Quinta show. I arrived a little early and sat down at the Mickey D's across the street for some hotcakes and sausage. With a full belly and some caffein, I was ready for the show. Load in went smoothly. There was a particularly good group of dealers at the show. I was relieved that the Bob was vacationing in Florida. I really enjoyed chatting with the dealers and customers.
It was nice to see Harlan, who has missed the last few shows. He purchased a nice pile of cards for his various sets, including a 1975 Topps Nolan Ryan. Another regular purchased my 1961 Golden Press Lou Gehrig. My 50-cent box got a nice workout on this day. Big Daddy Dave purchased some cards. He told me he was placing some sets in a local auction. A few other guys purchased some cards out of my binders. I did not get rich on this day but I had a real pleasant time.
On the buying front, I picked up a few things from Walt, including some 1974 Topps baseball.
I was disappointed in the gasoline prices in Indy which were around $2.39 a gallon. I paid only $2.09 last month. After filling up, I stopped off at BK and stuffed my face then headed on to St. Louis. There was a ton of road construction on I70 which made for a very long drive. I70 just may have risen to the top of my $%#@ list, ahead of I65.
I made it to Courtyard Marriott in Creve Coeur, Missouri, around 6 p.m. I shared a room with Tony Schaefer. Oh my, what an upgrade from the previous night in Indy. I pulled into the parking lot and called Tony, he was in the hot tub. There was no hot tub at the Shadeland Inn where I was afraid to step into the tub in the bathroom. As an aside, guys at the Indy show told me that Shadeland, which is a street in Indy where the motel was located, is often referred to as "Shadeyland."
After kicking back in the room for a while, we met Tony's college buddy Chris at a nearby Tavern & Grill. I wish I could remember the name of the place because it was excellent. I tried a Shlafly's pumkin ale which I thought was a little too sweet. I next tried a dark beer that contained 17% alcohol. It was loaded with flavor. I wish I could remember the name. To eat, I had a tasty steak. I think of all the towns I visit for card shows, St. Louis and Milwaukee are the two best for both shows, food and drink.
After dinner, we stopped at a local bakery that was awesome! They had some chocolate eclairs that glistened under the soft light from above. With my diabetes, I can't eat sweets at night, so I decided to get something I could bring home and share with the family. I ended up purchasing four large frosted sugar cookies that were shaped like pigs. Tony bought some dinosaur cookies. It was tough, but I did not eat my cookie until Monday morning. Oh man, that thing was good! The wife and kids enjoyed theirs as well.
I had a much better night in St. Louis than Indy and was up early and ready to go. Another nice crowd in St. Louis. I was busy much of the day. Steve, who I met last time, purchased a bunch of hockey cards. Another customer about cleared out my 1974-75 Topps basketball cards. I sold a 1962 Topps Boog Powell rookie card to a customer I have seen at just about every show I have attended in St. Louis. Quite a few other guys pulled cards from various binders. My 50-cent box, once again had another good work out. I probably won't bring the box out again for a while. I need to spend some time and reload it.
I was disappointed that the hall no longer serves food. Thankfully, I was able to obtain a steady stream of coffee. I walked the room a few times and was struck by the variety of dealers. There were four or five vintage dealers with excellent stuff on their tables. A few wax dealers. Only a few modern dealers. The rest of the room was filled up with memorabilia dealers. Some guys had tables filled with bobble heads. Other guys had large selections of autographs. Then there were three or four guys that I can only describe as flea market type dealers. With high table fees at this show, I don't understand how the flea market dealers break even. Some of those guys did not have enough value on their tables to cover the cost of table fee. In a way, it was kind of a weird mix of dealers.
Regardless, this is still an excellent show. My sales were much better than Indy. I picked up a few things from Tony, who also purchased some cards from me. Thanks Tony!
On the way home, I stopped off at a Jack 'n the Box. It has been about 25 years since I had a burger at Jack 'n the Box. They left the Chicago area in the early 1980s. I was a regular at one in Tucson when I was in college in the late 1980s. I remember that I always got a sour-dough burger so I ordered one and was disappointed. The burger was not very good. On the upside, I found gas for $2.09 a gallon up the street. After I filled up, I saw another station where gas was $2.06. The ride home, while long, was pleasant. No issues to report.
Next up is Corky's show at the Holiday Inn in Elgin, Illinois, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. On Sunday, I'm back at Gonzaga in Milwaukee (Oct. 11). I never did finish that '68 binder last week. I just finished it off and will have it ready to go this weekend. I also plan on pricing some 1962 Fleer football along with some stuff for my display cases. If I have time, I will load up on some 1961 Golden Press. Well, I did a lot of driving last weekend. I'm thankful that I have relatively short drives this weekend.
I know there are quite a few White Sox, Cardinals and Brewers fans that read my blog and hate the Cubs which does not make sense to me. I would think these folks would take pity on the long-suffering Cubs fans such as myself (I actually like both the Cubs and White Sox). I enjoyed watching the Cubs win the the Wild Card Game this week against Pittsburgh. However, I thought they over-celebrated along with the fans down in Wrigleyville. I won't celebrate anything other than a World Series win. Honestly, I don't see the Cubs getting past the Cardinals because Jake Arrieta can't pitch every game. Though, I am looking forward to the series. Looks like I'm going to the game on Monday at Wrigley. Woot! Go Cubs!