I just wanted to get the cart, go out to my car, load up and begin the show. But Mrs. Mueller, circa-2012, was staring me down. So I said to her, "These things are tough to maneuver."
She responded, with far too much emotion, "I hate when you people bump the walls. We have to repaint them all the time."
I didn't reply and briskly exited the building with the cart in tow. As I was pushing the cart toward my car, which was located at the far end of the parking lot because of all the community bike ride people, I was wondering, what the hell was that about? Once I loaded up the cart, there she was again as I went back in the building. She held the door open and gave me a look like she was going to slug me. The Orland Park show is starting to rival the Sun-Times show as the biggest hassle around. There's the Bald Guy, the subject of several previous blogs, who is a drag to deal with. Now I think there is some sort of problem with the carts. Is this crazy lady going to be around now too? Once again, I'm asking myself, is it really worth doing this show?
I don't want to fight with anybody. I just want to show up, do my thing, have a good time and go home. But there seems to be some sort of hassle at this show with regularity.
My guess is that Mrs. Mueller is a member of the Orland Park village board and feels like she has some sort of ownership rights to the Civic Center. Well, last I checked, public buildings, are... well, public! Mrs. Mueller should not be trying to intimidate the public. I'm sure Orland Park, like every other municipality in Illinois, is underfunded and in serious financial trouble. Why in the world would you mess with something that brings revenue directly into the town coffers? John rents the space twice a month. A good 150 to 200 people, sometimes more, always attend the show. I, for one, spend money at Orland Park businesses every time I'm at the show. I can't tell you how many times I've stopped and made purchases at the nearby Walgreens, or fast food, gas, even flowers for my wife at the nearby flower shop. I'm sure a great many of the regular dealers and customers spend money in the town as well. So instead of staring me down like I'm some sort of criminal, maybe Mrs. Mueller, you should thank me for paying your pension! I, in no way, intentionally bumped your precious wall with the cart. I was merely trying to maneuver it out of the building. What the hell?
I'm probably over-reacting but I'm really tired of the hassles that this show brings. The thing that keeps me coming to the Orland show is that there are some really great dealers, tremendous customers, and my sales are consistently good. Unfortunately, there are all these intangibles that really sour the experience. I think if Mrs. Mueller decides that us lowly baseball card dealers are not worthy of the Civic Center carts, I just may take a vacation from this show for a while.
Okay, rant over. The show itself wasn't too bad. We had a really nice turn out today. All the dealer tables were filled for the first time all summer. The side hallway was even filled with dealers. A regular autograph hound got things going today with some purchases of 1961 Topps baseball cards that he is going to send out for signatures. Newly married Chris T. picked up some '65 Topps football and some '64 Topps baseball. Chris brought me some 1971 Topps Super that I took in trade. Larry, who is working on the '63 Topps baseball set, found a few including a real nice Curt Flood. Another Larry, who is working on the 1956 Topps baseball set, found a few as well.
A regular customer purchased my 1938 Our National Game Tabs of Joe McCarthy and Red Ruffing. Another regular purchased some 1960 Topps and some 1959 Fleer Ted Williams cards. Dave, who has been absent for a while, purchased some 1965 Topps football and 1964 Topps baseball. Dave showed me some photos of his new house -- what a beautiful house! I was drooling at that 3-car garage. Rick picked up some 1963s, including a Carl Yaszstremski. Rich picked up some 1962s. A regular customer pulled three cards out of my dime box for a big 30-cent purchase.
A regular customer purchased some 1963s. Another regular found cards in my dime box. A regular customer bought some 1961 Fleer baseball. Aaron picked up some 1963s. Another regular hit the dime box. A customer in town from Los Angeles picked up my 1934 Goudey Heinie Manush and 1949 Bowman Carl Furillo. Chuck bought all my 1973 Topps football, along with some 1974 Topps football and some 1961 Topps baseball. Chuck shared some interesting information about the 1963 Fleer baseball set. I always assumed that packs of those cards originally came with a stick of gum, like the Topps cards. Chuck told me that he remembers buying packs of 1963 Fleer baseball cards at the store back in 1963 and that they came with a cookie, not a stick of gum. Chuck said he remembers that the cookie tasted pretty good.
Tony S. picked up a bunch of cards. I can't remember what was in the group other than a 1934 Goudey Paul Waner. I haven't seen Tony in a few months. He has a bit of a drive to Orland from his home in Downstate Illinois. It's always good to see him and I appreciate his regular purchases. My regular customer, who collects Mets, found a few in my 1964 binder.
On the buying side, I bought a nice group of 1965 Topps football early on and didn't have the funds to purchase much else. I did get a few 1940 Play Balls and a stack of 1969 Topps stamps from Jim. I had to turn a bunch of other guys away for lack of funds. Unfortunately, I just can't buy everything -- even though I REALLY want to.
Overall, a pretty good day. If it wasn't for that lady in the morning, I would of had a really nice day. I was planning on setting up next week in Bloomingdale but something has come up and I can't make the show. So my next show is September 8, back at Orland. Ugh! I hope Mrs. Mueller isn't there!! I'm also doing Gonzaga on September 9. I should have several binders reloaded before those shows. A big thank you to everyone who bought cards from me today!! Have a great week and please, take great care when pushing a cart through the hallway at the Orland Park Civic Center!!! Mrs. Mueller just may send a note home.