The December show, pictured above, was not quite as large but still large enough where I had to reserve two rooms. The December show was my last one at the Four Points Sheraton. I decided to provide free doughnuts one last time, even though the fascists that run the Four Points Sheraton expressly forbade them. What were they going to do? They did nothing and the show went on without a hitch.
I was feeling a little melancholy that day. The show had gone on just about every month at the hotel for more than four years. It started out with a bang thanks to Mark Smith's assistance but started to fizzle out when Mark dropped out. The aforementioned doughnuts saved the show!
At the August 2015 show, very few customers showed up. I decided to give away doughnuts at the September show, also marking the first anniversary of the show. That show was a grand success and the show has grown from about five dealers at that fateful August show to 30-plus currently.
It has been well documented that the Marriott corporate folks, who own the Four Points, no longer wanted to host my show. Our major disagreement was that they wanted to be able to cancel my show when they could replace with an event that spent thousands of dollars on catering. I disagreed.
The Four Points seemed to get a new manager every month. I thought maybe we had smoothed things over after Stefanie, the worst of the worst managers, left the hotel. I figured maybe I could book the hotel for 2019. However, the last manager I spoke to, told me that they no longer were booking events in advance -- yeah right!
I recently learned from a former employee that when Marriott came in at the end of 2017, they cleaned house by firing employees that had worked at the former Clarion hotel for 15 to 20 years. We're talking housekeepers that worked hard for low pay for years and they were kicked to the curb. The Marriott Corp. is about as foul of a company as they come.
Still, I was sad at that December show. I worked real hard at building a successful show, even though the Marriott Corp. tried their hardest to destroy my event. Perhaps it is a karma thing, but after essentially getting kicked out of the Four Points Sheraton, I landed on my feet at the Salvation Army Community Center in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. I am happy to report that the show is stronger than ever!
At the end of 2019, I booked just about a year's worth of monthly shows for 2019 at the Sal, skipping January, July and August. My main man at the Sal, Mark Lewis, has been tremendous. I've gone from having to deal with adversaries at the Four Points to getting a teammate in Mark at the Sal.
Unlike the Four Points Sheraton, where management was asking what could I do for them, Mark has been asking what he can do for me. Did I say he has been tremendous? First off, he has been providing an awesome concession stand which is a win win for everybody. Hungry card show goers have food and all the money benefits the Salvation Army.
Mark and I have worked together trying to figure out the best way to set up the room and the adjoining hallway. I think we finally figured it out at the April show and now have roomy aisles and room for the dealers behind their tables. I heard your complaints!
The March show was not quite a large as the February show, which was easiest my largest to date. But the March show was still excellent. I had an amazing day selling cards and an equally as amazing day buying cards.
I was able to take a handful of notes. Mark purchased some 1960 Topps football, a regular customer purchased some 1960 and 1961 Topps baseball. A new customer purchased some 1969 Topps baseball. Gary F. purchased some 1961 Topps baseball. A regular customer purchased some 1959s and a 1941 Double Play Arky Vaughan.
John purchased some 1981 Topps football. Kevin found the final cards he needed to complete his 1969 Topps baseball set. A regular purchased some 1934 Diamond Stars. Eric purchased my 1961 NU Scoops Mickey Mantle while a new customer purchased some 1969 Topps baseball.
Continuing with my sales, Kevin purchased some 1950 Bowman baseball. Another regular purchased some 1969 Topps baseball. A random customer wearing a Chicago Blackhawks hat, purchased some 1960 Topps baseball. Tim purchased my 1961 Golden Press Babe Ruth.
Barry purchased some 1969 Topps. Bill purchased some 1965 Topps football. A new customer purchased a whole pile of cards from the 1950s. A regular customer purchased some 1982 Topps football. A new customer purchased my 1964 Bill Mazeroski.
Then I went on a buying spree and purchased a near set of 1975-76 Topps basketball, a near set of 1970-71 Topps basketball, a pile of 1973 and 1963 football along with a 1956 Topps Gil Hodges.
The April show may have been my largest show with 30-plus dealers and 50-plus tables. Unfortunately, attendance was down. If you missed the April show, you really missed a great show with all those dealers and a huge variety of sports memorabilia. Needless to say, I bought a ton of stuff!
I was too busy to take notes but did jot down a few of my purchases. I bought a collection that walked in the door featuring six or seven boxes of baseball cards from 1961 through 1977. I also picked up some 1948 basketball and some 1963 Fleer baseball.
Some dealers reported phenomenal sales while other were disappointed. To boost attendance for the May 4th show, I've spent a little more on advertising. I am currently picking up all sorts of wax to giveaway, including some 2019 Topps baseball and some 2015 Topps football. I have had a steady flow of dealers sign up, including John Arcand, who has a television show on the Big Ten Network where he travels the country, views Big Ten-related memorabilia collections, values them then makes an offer and often comes home with the collections. I've known John for years and you'd be hard pressed to find a better guy in this hobby. John used to own a card shop on the Northwest Side of Chicago and he regularly gave me tremendous deals on vintage cards at the shop. I am so thankful and happy that John and his wife Debbie are setting up at my show. Definitely check out their tables because they have items you won't see anywhere else.
Also, in the exciting news category, I will have three Super Bowl Packers signing autographs at the June 1st show. Midwest Sports Buffet LLC is bringing in Diyral Briggs, Gary Brown and Calvin Jones from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Autographs cost $20, all items, $10 each inscription, $8 JSA authentication, or you may purchase a VIP package for $59 that includes a custom jersey, 1 autograph on the jersey, inscription, stand up photo-op & JSA authentication -- only 10 available for each player. Photos, Jerseys & Mini helmets will be available for purchase.
So things are happening! All that trouble with the Four Points Sheraton is now in the rearview mirror. Great things are in store for my show at the Salvation Army Community Center. I've got lots of ideas and will have all sorts of fun surprises as the year progresses.
I hope to see everyone at the May 4th show at the Salvation Army Community Center, 8853 S. Howell, in Oak Creek, WI. Thank you for your continued support. I wouldn't be able to do any of this without you guys. Let's rock it again on May 4th!