An incredible amount of work went into this one starting with a ton of paperwork thanks to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. I still have not finished up the paperwork from the June show. I hope to have it done this week then it is on to the paperwork for the July show. Ugh!
Seems like I spent every minute of every day since the June show talking with dealers and potential dealers. A lot of my regular dealers had other plans for the holiday weekend. Then I had a nice number of new dealers that wanted to set up. Then there is the ongoing problem of dealers cancelling either the day before, or on the day of the show, or just not showing up. To those dealers, I say: YOU SUCK! I don't want you setting up at my show if you are going to pull this shite.
Then I spent a ton of time in June promoting the July show. I thought attendance would suffer due to the holiday weekend and other competing shows. Well, my hard work paid off because we had 600 people through the door, the same number as June. I was so relieved and happy. A huge thank you to everyone who attended the show. You guys rule!
As usual, Lisa and I drove up Friday night. There is a sweet young lady who sets up the show for us, I forget her name. She did a much better job this month. It is a confusing set up. Lisa and I come in after she sets it up to fix things to my liking and to place out more than 100 dealer name plates and a dealer newsletter. It took us about three and half hours, which was quicker than any previous month.
Our pal Bronko showed up to help. Thanks Bronko! He was also able to set up his tables as well. I am thinking of allowing guys who bring their own tables to come in Friday night to set them up if they want. Load in is such a cluster@#$% that we need to have some people set up early to ease things on Saturday morning. The Salvation Army has blocked off the front of the building, which hampers load in. So maybe we can ease this up by a Friday night load in.
I was set up in the Chapel this month. With a bunch of last-minute cancellations, I gave myself a large space. I was able to put out all of my binders. Business was brisk early on. One of my favorites, who I have known since the Gonzaga Hall days, Dean, purchased a nice pile of 1953 Topps baseball. Thanks Dean!
For the second month in a row, I got to see another Gonzaga regular Jeff. Thanks for coming Jeff and purchasing a pile of cards! There are so many regulars that I enjoy seeing like Mark, Bruce, Bob, Robert, Eddie, Dennis, Eric, Larry, Mike, Jack, Craig and Doreen, George and Kristy, Steve, John, Anthony D., Joe, and many others. Thanks for coming out!!
Lisa has decided that she will be the one to collect table fee from the dealers so I can stay at the tables and sell cards. That woman is worth her weight in gold! I enjoy the show so much more when I get to stay at the tables, chat, and sell cards.
Another benefit of staying at the tables is it increases my buys. I bought a TON of stuff at this show! It was awesome! A long-time customer brought me two large bags of cards along with some baseball books from the 1960's. One of my T206 guys was there and I picked up a few more. Then I purchased a 1962 Topps Jim Brown from Larry. Thank you everybody! It was a nice haul!!
Everybody was talking about new dealer Shawn who had unopened wax from the 1970's. Did you see his tables? It was pretty cool!
I had a chance to chat with dealer Tom Daniels, which is always fun. Tom and his wife Anita are known across the country, having set up at every single National. Tom told me he attended his first card show in 1974. By 1975, he was placing ads and buying collections. He was also one of the first members of the Wisconsin Sports Collectors Association (WSCA) -- a group that is still active today and promotes the bi-monthly show at the Roma Lodge in Racine. Next Roma Lodge show is Sunday, August 20, 2023.
Recently, I purchased a WSCA show program from 1977 on eBay. The program is cool! There are a bunch of hobby-related articles in there but many of them fail to state who wrote them. I am pretty sure Tom wrote one of them because the article mentions his travels with his wife Anita. I asked Tom about it but he could not remember. I need to bring the program to the August 5th Oak Creek show and show it to him, maybe he will remember upon seeing the article.
Anyway, I about drooled all over myself when Tom told me about the deals he had in the 1970's. He told me he purchased a collection of 1952 Topps that included a Mickey Mantle for 10-cents a card! Yes, he purchased a '52 Mantle for just 10 cents!! He told me he sold the Mantle in the late '70's for $250. Oh my!
He has endless stories. He told me that in the mid-1970's, he picked up 15 sets of 1953 Topps baseball for about $150. Can you imagine? I need to find some time to sit down with Tom and get all of this stuff documented!!
I am sorry to report that I am losing two regular dealers who I really, really like -- Maria and Josh. Maria is moving to Colorado. She has been selling Pokémon at the show for years. Good luck in Colorado Maria! Then my pal Josh is cutting back his show schedule. Josh, his wife Kelly and son Conner have been regular fixtures at the show for a long time. Josh also sells Pokémon. I am going to miss you guys!
Unfortunately, there has been a revolving door of dealers since I started the show almost 10 years ago. I hate to lose the long-time dealers but it is cool to see new dealers and their inventories like the amazing stuff on Shawn's tables.
Regardless of the revolving dealer door, attendance has been excellent! The support for this show is just outstanding. I appreciate you all!
Next Oak Creek show is August 5. This is going to be another difficult one for me to manage with tons of dealers returning after sitting out July and a whole new large roster of new dealers. Expect a packed house of dealers for the August show! Hopefully, I can figure out how to fit everyone in!!
I don't have a show scheduled to set up at until Orland on July 16. I may add a show before hand or may pop up at a flea market.
As you know, the National is coming to Rosemont, Illinois, at the end of the month and I'll be set up with the usual suspects in Dave, PJ and Scott. I am working on pricing cards for the National.
Oddly, each year as the National approaches, I tend to have nightmares about the show. Last year, I had these reoccurring dreams where my booth was located in an odd spot and no one purchased any cards. Lately, I have been having this really weird dream where I set up at the National on Wednesday then forget about the show on Thursday and Friday, go hang out with friends, then go back on Saturday. Weird! What does this mean?
Anyway, I am looking forward to the National. It is always a great time!! No more nightmares, please!!
A quick shout out to my pal Mark, who runs things at the Salvation Army for us. His sweet wife Deb is having some health issues and we are sending good vibes her way!! Also, many thanks to the volunteers who collect admission fee, who work the concession stand and those who take down the tables and chairs and clean up after us at the end of the day. You guys are the best! Most of all, THANK YOU for attending the Oak Creek show!!!
See you soon!
Below are photos Lisa and I took at the July 1 Salvation Army show. Enjoy!