I am still without a car. I am hoping to have one by the end of the summer. I want to stuff some cash away before I make a purchase. I appreciate all the advice I have been receiving on purchasing a car.
I have been driving my wife's car but I think she is starting to lose patience. I had to rent a car this weekend because she needed her car on Sunday. The price of car rentals has gone way up. Ugh! I am probably going to rent a car again for the weekend of July 9 when I booked a show in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I may cancel some other July shows because it is just too expensive to rent a car every weekend.
It was really nice to have a car this past weekend! I rented a Hyundai Elantra. Small car. Great gas mileage. I loaded up Friday night and was able to fit all of my baseball and football binder bins in the car. There was not enough room for a cart. Luckily, John and Mike provide a number of carts for the dealers at the Rock Church.
I filled up with gas at $5.95 a gallon by my house Friday. I only put in $20 which got me just over a quarter tank, enough to get out to Rockford where gas is much cheaper. It took about an hour from my house to get to the Rock Church, which is about average.
My tables were located back up against the back wall, between Tom and Dave. It was nice to see Tim back. I was also glad to see my buddy Phil, who has had some health problems lately. Skip was set up next to Phil, as usual. Dennis and Mike were set up for the first time at this show.
I was amazed that Mike arrived before I did -- a first! Mike owns as bar up in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and has to close up the bar at 2 or 3 a.m. then get up at 5 or 6 a.m. to get on the road to the show. Understandably, he is never on time to the shows. I don't know how he beat me to Rockford!
I also saw good buddies Gary and Scotty P. who were both set up again this month. As I was loading in, I saw Beau, the promoter of the Madison show who did not like my St. Louis Cardinals T-shirt. Beau is as huge Cubs fan. Also, Phil, did not like the shirt. I did come across a few Cardinals fans who gave me some support.
I am a baseball fan. I will wear a shirt representing any team.
Speaking of St. Louis, my first customer of the day was a Cardinals fan I met years ago when I used to regularly set up in St. Louis. He told me he and his wife were looking for a day trip and his wife found the Rock Church show online and they decided to spend the weekend in Rockford -- just my luck! He purchased a couple piles of cards for his sets. Nice way to start off the show!
I have a nice solid group of regulars at this show and they all showed up for me and I am extremely grateful! Like every show, attendance was down but I still hit my average for sales thanks to this great group of guys. Thank you everyone!!!
IT AINT OVER TILL IT IS OVER
I think I am going to call it -- the great COVID card boom is over. It was fun while it lasted but we are definitely back to the pre-COVID card boom pattern where card shows die down in the spring. My sales are still solid so I will probably keep setting up most weekends for the rest of the year. But I think, going into next year, I will probably cut back and drop some of the shows where sales are slow. It will be nice to sleep in a few weekends.
Back at the Rock Church show, I had an unexpectedly nice day buying cards. My best buying day in Rockford to date. I have to give an assist to Mike, who regularly looks out for me. Thanks Mike! He set me up with another vendor who was selling a binder of cards that had all sorts of stuff like 1964 Topps Giants, a number of Milwaukee Braves cards from the 1950's, a nice group of lower grade 1953 Topps baseball commons, and a mixture of cards from 1967 through 1972, including a few tough high numbers. Nice group of stuff. Probably the best card in the binder was a '64 Topps Giants Mantle.
The seller originally wanted $500. I figured I could sell the cards for about $350 and offered $250. After shopping the binder around, the seller took my offer. Then I purchased a small box of cards from the 1970's for just 20 bucks from a guy who I have known for years, but of course, have forgotten his name. He is originally from Berwyn, Illinois, and recently moved out to the Rockford area. I thought it funny that while I was buying those cards, another good customer was sitting at my table pulling cards and he too is originally from Berwyn and now lives in Ottawa, Illinois. I don't blame those guys for moving out to the country. I'm ready to go myself!
I capped off my purchases by buying a small box of 1954 Topps baseball for $100 from Terry Hatch. Altogether, I had a nice haul!
On the food front, my good buddy Dave McDonald brought me a ham sandwich which I gobbled up early on. I get light-headed when I skip breakfast, as I did on this morning, due to low blood sugar. Damn diabetes. That sammich put everything back in focus. Thanks Dave!
Then the highlight of my day was the food truck serving Mexican delights. I had three al pastor tacos and they were delicious!!
I made sure to get some gas at Casey's on my way out of town. At $5.49 a gallon, I was able to fill up the Elantra for 60 bucks. That tank of gas lasted me the drive home, to and from Orland the next day, and the drive to the rental place on Monday morning.
So no show at the Rock Church in July which is why I booked Fort Wayne on July 9. I just noticed a new show scheduled for July 9 at the Skyline Room in Rosemont, Illinois. Back in the 1990's, the Skyline Room hosted some of the best shows around. It is kind of cool to see someone resurrecting that place for card shows. I don't know the promoter but he has some nice signers in Dick Butkus and Dan Hampton.
Unfortunately, I won't be cancelling Fort Wayne. I hate to cancel once I reserve space. Plus, I really want to set up in Fort Wayne as it has been years since I was last there. I am also concerned that this new show won't bring in much traffic. I don't know if any more shows are planned for the Skyline Room, but if they are, I just may set up there eventually. I would like to see that show get established before I jump in.
As I stated previously, I was set up in Orland on Sunday. Orland blog coming soon.
Next up for me is the Sports Spectacular in Rosemont on June 16 and running through June 18. I will be set up with Dave, PJ and Kevin in booths 44, 45 and 46. I am going to bring out display cases and should have some good stuff! Hope to see you this week in Rosemont!!
Reminder: Next Oak Creek show is July 2nd. Mark your calendars!!