Andy took me out to Schlafly's brew pub that night. I was at Schlafly's once before about 12 years ago. It is as good as I remember it. I think Schlafly's is the best brew pub in the country. The food, service and atmosphere is excellent. I also really enjoyed the Schlafly's Oktoberfest beer.
I had a bad night of sleep because I was worried that my car would be towed. There was a sign out in the parking lot that said parking was for residents only. So any time a loud car pulled into the parking lot, I jumped up to see if it was a tow truck. Though a large cup of coffee in the morning picked me up just fine and my trusty GPS brought me to the show.
Two Hearts is a really nice banquet hall. The room seems about the same size as Orland Park or Gonzaga. They had a bar where some customers purchased a few brewskis at a very early hour. They also had a food concession stand with a bunch of tables. I didn't get much of a chance to walk the room though it seemed like there were more autograph dealers than I have ever seen at a one-day show. I think there were also four or five guys selling wax. Set up behind me was Phil Brooks, who has been setting up at the Orland shows for years. I never knew Phil was from St. Louis. I appreciate Phil's passion for modern cards but the appeal just isn't there for me. I love the old cards. On my left was my tablemates from the National, Tony and Sarah from Monster Cards. There was also a dealer I had met before at the Sun-Times show. I think his name is Ron. He's a bit of an oddball. He once got all up in my grill about the pricing of a Stan Musial card. Some other dealers stopped at my table at bought some cards. I made a trade with another dealer who has a card shop in St. Louis. He is building a '55 Topps baseball set for his son. He had a nice story on how a guy recently came into his shop with 400 or so 1967 Topps high numbers. The '67 highs are extremely hard to come by. I've never had more than a dozen or so at one time -- 400 is an unheard of number for these cards.
Business was steady all day. It seemed like most every one was looking for Cardinal cards. One of my first customers wanted high grade vintage Cardinals. I had quite a few of the cards on his list but not in the grade he wanted. Another customer pulled a 1954 Bowman Memo Luna out of my '54 binder. He was thrilled because he had been looking for the card for more than a year. He told me Luna played a whole two games for the Cardinals. Another customer responded, "What an asshole!" That customer pulled quite a few '53 Topps Cardinals. A few customers cleaned out my '54 Topps binder of Cardinals. Another customer wanted a Mike Shannon card, any year. I had just filled my '62 binder and thought he might be in there but he couldn't find him. This guy had his son with him who looked to be two or three years old. The little boy stood up against the wall across from my tables and tossed up a baseball in the air and caught it. I thought that was pretty good for boy that young. He also dropped the ball a few times and his father got really angry. I wasn't sure if he was actually angry at the boy or the fact he couldn't find Mike Shannon.
I had a few set builders today. There were guys pulling cards out of my '73 and '74 binders, I sold quite a few '66. I also sold quite a few football Cardinals. I was surprised folks weren't buying any St. Louis Browns. I had a father and son team pick up a bunch of pre-war. Another pre-war collector showed me a Babe Ruth he purchased at another table. He also had a Joe Dimaggio Louisville Slugger which I thought was really cool. I had an autograph hound purchase quite a few cards to send out for autos. Then a guy came in wearing a Cubs hat which I thought was a dangerous clothing item in Cardinal country. Turns out I went to high school with the guy. His brother was in my class while he was in the class a year behind. He purchased my 1940 Play Ball Moe Berg. Another customer purchased a few '74 checklists then came back at the end of the show and purchased quite a few '60 Topps. It was a real good day. I thought I would be able to get out of the room by 2 p.m. but my last customer left at 2:30 p.m. When I left the room at 3:15 p.m. there were still a few guys set up with customers at their tables. It's nice to be at a show where dealers aren't rushed out the door.
The drive home was long, about six hours. I hit some construction traffic in a few spots. I'm pretty tired as I write this up here on Monday morning. I just may do the Two Hearts show again in November. It's a long drive, so I'm not entirely certain I want to do that again. Next week I'm closer to home with the Orland show on Saturday and Gonzaga on Sunday. It should be a great weekend. I should have my '63 and '64 binders reloaded by Saturday. I enjoyed St. Louis and am looking forward to more shows next weekend. Ahh, such is the life of a vintage card vagabond. I think Pete Seager needs to write a song about me driving all over the Midwest for card shows.
Below are some pictures of the show taken with my iphone.