The ride from my house to Matteson took an hour. I got off the 294 at Cicero then drove 10 miles to Matteson. The whole way I was scoping out places for my future south-suburban card show. There is quite a lot of action on Cicero but I didn't see any ideal places to hold a show. The Matteson Community Center is real nice. I could potentially do a show there but I just have that vivid memory of the Matteson mall show and don't think I could run a show in that town.
I take my daughter all over the area to these Anime Cons. She and her friends dress up, or "cosplay," as they say. This particular con was lacking when compared to the others. The folks that ran it were real nice but there just weren't a whole lot of people in attendance. It was run by Prairie State College. My suggestion is they reserve a booth at the larger cons to promote their little event in Matteson. I think we only stayed an hour or so. Usually, I have to pry my daughter away. She was ready to go around noon when we originally planned to stay until 3 p.m. I'm going to another one of these things in Rosemont in December. I won't be so lucky to get out by noon.
After the con, the wife and the kids went to a movie while I spent the rest of the night reloading my 1966 Topps binder. I was amazed at how many high numbers I had. I also found time to price some cards for my display cases. When I was finished, I couldn't sleep. I think I was a little wired from the con and hustling to price cards. So I stayed up late and watched "Mystic River." I know I have seen this movie before but I could not remember much about it. What a great movie! Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon. I was hooked until the movie ended around 2 a.m. I woke at 6:45 a.m. for the Schaumburg show. It was tough going that morning. I was the last dealer to arrive at the show. Though, I wasn't all that late. I got there around 8:15 a.m. and the show doesn't officially open until 9 a.m.
Though, the one guy who always shows up an hour before opening was there at about the same time I arrived. It doesn't really matter that I wasn't set up because this guy hasn't bought anything from me in a couple of years. In fact, I have not seen him buy anything from anybody in a couple of years. Yet, there he is, an hour before the show opens, like clockwork. I think the folks from National Geographic should follow him around with a camera. Study his habits and environs to learn why he goes to each and every card show and never buys I thing. I think it would make a nice short documentary. Something like the old Jacque Cousteau films. Except for this one, no French stuff, the narrator should have a Scottish accent and say something like:
"There he goes, the rare species 'hypo-card-o-mopolis' from the land they call Buffalo Grove. He is tempted by the vast color range of the baseball cards. He can sense when they are near. However, this particular breed of hypo-card-o-mopolis must never make a purchase for fear of upsetting the natural order of his kind."
I might just have something here. If I only had more free time. I think I'd make the documentary myself. I know much more about the hypo-card-o-moplis than Jacque Cousteau or anyone else from National Geographic. I must warn you that I am writing this late at night and am a little slap happy.
While Mort was perusing cards at my table, four or five other guys started going through my binders. A couple other guys were at my display cases. One guy wanted some Ron Santo cards that I did not have. Then he asked for Rick Barry. I pulled out a real nice Topps 1972-73 Barry. He showed the card to his father with great enthusiasm. However, dad did not share the enthusiasm and the pair left without making a purchase. It goes that way sometimes. I'll show a guy all sorts of stuff out of my display cases and he doesn't buy anything. I'm okay with it. I don't mind showing the cards... as long as they are not card-o-mopolises.
One of my regulars pulled a bunch of stuff out of my newly reloaded dime box. Another regular found a few basketball cards. Another guy purchased all the Bears from my 1981 Topps football binder. I was amazed I had so many in there. I brought out my box of pocket schedules and actually sold some. Larry and I made our usual cash and trade deal. Donny and his buddy were there. I usually see Donny at the Schaumburg and the Gonzaga shows. He collects oddball stuff. He likes ABA basketball cards, USFL football cards, and hockey publications.
There is another customer that I only see at this Schaumburg show. He is real nice guy and has been buying 1976 Topps baseball from me for several months. He picked up a nice pile on this day. Willie grabbed a bunch of the '66 high numbers. Randy sat down at my table and pulled a bunch of 1963 Topps baseball. Randy also generously brought some pumpkin bread to share that his wife made. Oh my, that stuff was good!!
Then Will and Joe made my day by trucking up to Schaumburg from the far southwest Side of Chicago. After driving to Matteson the day before, I was well aware of the long trek these guys made to the show. I can't tell you how much I appreciated it. Will and Joe are a father and son team and two of my favorite people in the world. We always have a good time together. These guys also know more about hockey than anybody I know. Joe collects modern hockey cards. Will is building vintage baseball sets from the 1950s and 1960s and he pulled a bunch from the '66 binder.
Will and Joe were kind of forced to come see me up in Schaumburg since I'm not doing the Orland show any more. They both said the Orland show last weekend was dead. Neither bought a single card! I am really glad I was set up in Hoffman Estates last weekend and not Orland. I have been getting a lot of real good suggestions for the Mark and Tony south-suburban show. I hope to have a venue and some dates soon. Stay tuned!
I had a nice day on the buying front. I picked up my first ever 19th Century card -- an Allan & Ginter boxing card from 1887. The card is in rough shape but did I say it is from 1887? It is cool!! I picked up some 1971 Topps baseball and football cards as well. I also picked up some random cards from the 1950s. I picked up some more Post Cereal cards including a Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris and Roberto Clemente. I also picked up a smattering of star baseball cards from the early 1970s. I was pretty happy with my haul.
After the show, Will, Joe and I went over to Moretti's which is basically next door to the Best Western, where the show is held. We had some tasty burgers and watched the Bears give away the game to the Panthers. After five weeks, it is real apparent that the Bears are not very good. Thankfully, hockey season is just about to begin. Seems like hockey is the only professional sport worth watching in Chicago these days. We had another hideous baseball season on both sides of town. I'm not expecting much from the Bulls. The Hawks, on the other hand, should be fun to watch once again.
Next up is the Gonzaga show in Milwaukee. I started in on my 1967 Topps baseball binder. If you recall, I sold the whole binder last year. So it has been a while since I had any 1967 baseball out on my table. I have been stock-piling cards for a while. I should have that binder ready to go by Sunday. I also hope to add some new cards to my display cases. In a perfect world, I would finish the '67s mid-week and start on some '75-76 Topps basketball. Though, I don't think I'll get the basketball done by Sunday.
Just a reminder, that the Mark & Tony Milwaukee show is on Saturday, October 18, at the Clarion, 5311 S. Howell. We have two new dealers so far. Mark and I are going to place an ad in the Milwaukee Journal next week to help promote the show. We're expecting another nice turn out. We will also have shows at the Clarion on November 8 and December 20. We are working on 2015 dates. We also hope to have an Illinois show in January. There's lots of good stuff happening!
A big shout out to my little brother Jon, who turns 43 on Saturday. Kind of crazy that he's going to be 43. I still remember the day he was born. Early in the morning on October 11, 1971, my folks left for the hospital. Leaving me, my older sister and brother home alone. Dad said he'd call when the baby was born. I sat in my room all day waiting for the phone to ring. Back then, we had three phones in the house. One in my parents bedroom, one in the kitchen and one in the laundry room. There was no such thing as a mobile phone. If you wanted to talk on the phone, it had to be on a large, clunky thing plugged into the wall.
When the phone finally rang, I darted to my parents room with my brother and sister hot on my tail. As my larger older siblings were about to pass me, I dived onto the bed and snatched the phone as they groaned in disappointment. "It's a boy!" my dad exclaimed on the other end of the phone. "It's a boy!" I relayed to my brother and sister. My dad said the baby's fingers were the size of my pinky. I repeated every word for my brother and sister, "dad said the baby's fingers are the size of my pinky!" Shortly, thereafter, I was overpowered by my brother, six-years my senior, and lost control of the phone. Though, I'll never forget beating those guys to the phone that morning and being the first to learn I had a little brother.
Somehow, I knew that things in the house would change. My older brother and sister are rat-faced finks (as Allen Sherman would say). On that wonderful morning, I got an ally. As my brother grew, it was him and I against the older pair which still rings true to this day. My older brother and sister are still jerk-offs and my younger brother and I are buddies. I'm looking forward to having lunch with my oldest pal on Saturday. Woot!