First up was my monthly show at the Clarion in Milwaukee on Saturday, February 13, 2016, pictured above. I worked my tail off promoting the show in the weeks before with flyers, an internet ad, listings in SCD and Beckett, along with many internet postings. It is always nice when my efforts pay off and folks let me know they came in from my internet postings. Attendance was a little off from the previous two shows but not too bad. Sales were definitely up. All the dealers reported good sales -- which never happens! It is always nice when people show up with money to spend!! Thank you guys!!!
Mark picked up a bunch of stuff including my 1963 Topps Jim Taylor. Jim found some 1955 Bowmans. Thanks for the coffee Jim! Tim made my day by purchasing my 1952 Bowman Willie Mays and my 1951 Bowman Whitey Ford rookie. Thanks Tim! Ray purchased my T206 Johnny Evers. Thanks Ray!
John purchased a 1960's Sport Magazine with Sandy Koufax on the cover. Robin picked up some 1967 Philadelphia football. A regular customer purchased some 1958 Topps baseball. Another regular customer, who drove up from Illinois, purchased some 1965 Topps baseball. Bill also drove up from Illinois and found some stuff. Bill N. purchased some autos. A bunch of other guys pulled cards from my binders and I ended up having my best show of the year, so far.
On the buying front, I picked up a box of 1970's hockey and binder of 1970's basketball from one customer then picked up a box of 1970's basketball from other customer. Thanks guys! Gary had two 1953 Topps Mickey Mantles in his case, pictured below. I've never had a '53 Topps Mantle. I was drooling at those cards.
I was up bright and early on Sunday, February 14, 2016, for the Indian Lakes Resort show in Bloomingdale, Illinois. The weatherman had warned of snow but the sky had patchy clouds in the morning and I figured the weatherman was going to be wrong again. I stopped off at a Panera Bread on my way to the show. I am happy to report that Panara's sausage and egg sandwich is pretty good. I also got a chocolate chip "muffie" which was awfully tasty. I picked up two cups of coffee, one dark roast and the other was hazelnut. The dark roast was damn good but that hazelnut was nasty.
I had a nice display with five tables filled with stuff. A regular customer got things going by purchasing some 1970s Topps baseball. Kevin picked up a bunch a 1970s Blackhawks. A new customer purchased a bunch of old Cubs for a display he is making in his mancave. It was awesome to see Chris, who came up from the Orland area. Chris found a bunch of stuff for his sets. Thanks Chris! Willie purchased a bunch of stuff to send out for graphs. Thanks Willie! A few other guys dinked through my binders and I ended up having another nice show.
On the buying front, I picked up about 250 1973-74 hockey cards. Between my show and the Indian Lakes show, I had a really nice hockey haul this weekend! Some of the stars are heading to eBay this week.
The show ended early and I learned why when I went to load out and stood in the middle of a white-out. Damn weatherman was right. Oh, my, every idiot and his mother was out on the road home. I almost lost control of my car just outside of the Indian Lakes Resort. Luckily, I was able to reel it in because some numbnut was tailgating me as a started to spin out while turning left from Schick to Bloomingdale Road.
I took it slow driving down Lake Street to Route 53, tailgated the whole way. As I approached Route 53, there was a crash in the left lane on Lake while I sat in the right lane waiting to hop onto the on-ramp. The roads were incredibly slippery but that didn't stop all the numbnuts in the left lane from cutting off all of the cars in the right lane as they tried to drive around the accident.
Route 53 was scary because the road was covered in snow and slush. I held my speed between 45 and 55 MPH while numbnuts blew past me, cut in front off me or tailgaited me. I've spent way too much time on Route 53 during snowstorms over the years and have witnessed many accidents. What makes Route 53 especially scary as that the whole road is elevated. It is essentially one long bridge, so every winter there are always a few people that spin off Route 53 down to one of the roads below, resulting in death or horrible injuries. On this day, I saw four or five cars spin off the road on my way home. Thankfully, nobody went over. I saw one car go deep into a ditch, though. I pulled off on Lake Street, then to Buffalo Grove Road where there was more of the same. There was an accident as I approached Milwaukee Avenue coming up on Half Day Road. I was sure happy when I made it home. Man, that was a scary drive! I really appreciate everyone who braved that snow for the Indian Lakes Show. I hope everyone made it home safely!!
Up next is the Gonzaga show on Sunday, February 21, 2016. I just finished by 1975 Topps baseball binder. I had hoped to have it completed before my Clarion show but just could not get it done. I am going to start on 1965 Topps football and plan to price a bunch more stuff for my display cases. I will probably start on a new binder of 1975 Topps minis this week but I doubt I will have it done by the Gonzaga show. I will try.
Anyway, I huge thank you to everyone who came out to my Clarion show. The next one is set for Saturday, March 5, 2016. All the dealers from this month's show have confirmed for the March show. I can fit a few more guys in, if anybody is interested. I also appeciate everyone who came out to Indian Lakes Resort. I'll be back there on February 28th. Mark Smith is setting up at that one so we should have a really nice vintage inventory in the room.
I am still looking for a venue in the south suburbs of Chicago to host a show. Unfortunately, every place is priced way too high. I did find a reasonably priced venue up by my house in the north suburbs. I am debating on whether to host a Saturday show up north -- anybody interested? Let me know! See you guys at Gonzaga on Sunday!!!