After the Rockford show, I checked the news reports online, and viewed reports stating that freezing rain was going to make travel unsafe Saturday night and Sunday. Later that night, I unloaded my display cases from my car and threw in the bins of binders. My driveway was a little slick but I fully expected the Illinois Department of Transportation to salt the highway for my trip to Orland Park in the morning.
I was surprised when I went out to my car Sunday morning and there was no ice on my windshield. Awesome. I figured the roads would be fine... which they were. While I was driving to the show around 7:30 a.m. and listening to news radio, the newscaster said the roads were a mess and advised everyone to stay home. What? The roads were fine!
The only ice I saw was in the parking lot at the civic center. I parked, opened the car door, looked down and saw a sheet of ice. I also saw some scruffy bearded guy throwing down salt. I cautiously exited my vehicle and loaded my stuff into the civic center. I wore my winter boots and did not slip.
I think guys who wore sneakers slipped in the parking lot. I saw one guy hit the deck. Lesson here... don't wear sneakers when there is ice on the ground.
Terry, who arrived at the show long before me, said the parking lot was a sheet of ice when he got there causing his car to slide and hit the curb. I was thinking this might be a good day for me to hand out my business card. Textbook case of negligence on the Village of Orland Park for not salting the parking lot the night before the show.
Unfortunately, the weather reports and the ice scared off a lot of people. There were several empty dealer tables and we had maybe a fourth of the crowd we had at the last show. I was disappointed because the roads were fine. The only ice was in the parking lot at the civic center and it soon dissipated under salt.
In addition, after having such a great show in Rockford and Saturday, I was expecting a great show in Orland, which turned out to be a dud. It was a wasteland in front of my binders for most of the show. Good thing I brought out the dollar boxes because most of my early sales came from those boxes.
One guy asked if I would discount the cards to 50-cents each. I told him "no." The cards are already discounted at $1, plus I sell them 6 for $5. I've written about this many, many times, yet I am always frustrated with customers who ask for discounts on cards that are already discounted. There were quite a few cards in those boxes worth $5 to $10, I'm not going to sell them for 50 cents. I probably should not sell them for $1. Maybe I should increase the price to $2 each then give some numbnut the cards at a $1 "discount."
The guy obviously knew the value of the cards in the $1 boxes because he bought piles of them and came back a few times with no complaints.
I would like to talk about cheapy box etiquette. Now the guys that regularly go through the binders are very considerate of one another, which I appreciate greatly. However, the guys that go through the cheapy boxes have no manners at all. I think if a guy is standing in front of a box, going through it, making piles, no one else should stick their paws in there. Wait for the guy to finish going through the box -- "take turns" as Mrs. Utne, my first-grade teacher taught me in 1973.
I rarely bring out the cheapy boxes but when I do, there is always chaos around the boxes. I just don't understand. Honestly, the stuff in those boxes isn't that good. No need to fight over junk. There is much better stuff in my display cases and binders. I just brought the dollar boxes this time because I noticed I had extra space on my tables at the last show and I wanted to fill the space. I'm not bringing cheapy boxes to the January 30th show, too aggravating.
Also aggravating was the fact that almost all of my regular customers were AWOL at this show. Stop listening to the weather reports!
If it wasn't for Will and Minnanette, it would have been a complete disaster. Will purchased a pile of 1971, including a bunch of star cards. Thanks Will! He also brought me some breakfast. There is no bigger superstar than Will!
In addition to being my best customer and one of my best friends, Will tells the best stories. I love his stories about serving in the military during the Vietnam War. He was stationed in the south and has so many great stories. He should write a book.
He told me that his mother saved everything, including his draft papers. He brought some of the papers to show me.
One of my favorite stories about Will's dad is the one where he let Will's older brother Ed drive the family car when he was just 13 years old. Will's dad was a big fan of the A & W Restaurants, which used to be everywhere when I was growing up. So, in this story, Ed was driving his dad around Wisconsin and dad asked him to pull over at an A & W.
Neither was aware that a local policeman was in the parking lot and the officer observed the 13-year-old driver get out of the car. Ed then received a ticket for driving underage and without a license. This occurred in 1955. Will's mother saved the ticket, pictured below. What a cool piece of family history!
I haven't seen Minnanette in a couple of years. She said she was afraid to come out during COVID. I did not recognize her at first because she lost a lot of weight. She looks great while, I, on the other hand, have gained a lot of weight during COVID, and look a little like Uncle Fester. It is a good look for me.
It was business as usual with Minnanette as she pulled piles of cards out of my binders. I am going to try and put a box of cards together for her to give my binders a rest. I am not a wholesaler so it is difficult for me to sell to resellers like Minnanette. I have a simple system of inventory, I've got star cards, commons and a few cheapy boxes. I've got to figure out how to make a box for Minnanette. There are a lot of guys who just flip cards. They buy in quantity and have boxes ready to go for resellers. I'm just not set up that way. I prefer to sell to collectors rather than resellers.
I think I am going to bring display cases to the next Orland show coming up on January 30. It was depressing sitting there all day with very little action out of the binders.
On the buying front, I picked up a 1957 Topps Roberto Clemente -- Will has already claimed it. I also picked up a pile of 1958 Topps commons and some star cards from the 1960s. It is hard for me to get out of the Orland show without buying cards. I turned down a bunch of stuff because I just wasn't making any money, as result, had no cash to pay for cards.
Rare off day in Orland. Hopefully the weather is better for the January 30 show which will have former White Sox outfielder Carlos May signing autographs. I went through my autograph collection after the show and saw that I did not have a Carlos May autograph. I need to dig something out before the show to get signed.
Up next is my show on Saturday, January 15, 2022, at the Salvation Army, 8853 S. Howell, in Oak Creek, WI. We'll be back to the three rooms plus the hallway filled with dealers. My show has become the largest monthly show in the area. If you haven't been there, come check it out! It has really turned into the best show around. But don't take my word for it, come see it for yourself!