Back to back crazy weather weekends with rain, wind, snow prior to the Gonzaga show, then snow, snow, snow and crazy cold before the Orland show.
I saw the weather develop while at my real job on Friday. I work in beautiful Palatine, Illinois, in an office that has high ceilings and a lot of windows, so I always have one eye on the scene outside. Friday afternoon while I was sitting at my desk, the snow came heavy, blizzard-like conditions. The traffic on Dundee Road, just outside my main office window, was not moving. I decided to wait it out in the hopes the traffic would die out.
At about 7 p.m., I went out to clear off my car. There was easily four or five inches of snow on my car. Traffic had died down but the roads were a mess. I drove at 25 m.p.h. the whole way home. I know I pissed off some SUV's stuck behind me but my Camry does not get good traction in the snow and I wanted to arrive home alive.
I am not sure what time the snow ended but Saturday was clear and the plows had removed much of the snow. I went into work Saturday afternoon and had no issues. By the time I got back from work, the temperature had dropped, it was butt cold.
I woke up around 6:15 a.m. on Sunday and loaded up my car. The temperature was 5 degrees. I know from living my whole life in the Chicago area that cold weather is no big deal as long as you layer up. I broke out the long Johns, donned three shirts and two coats. I was toasty.
The night before, another dealer called and asked if I was still going to Orland. He did not want to go because of the cold. I told him as long as my car starts and my doors aren't frozen shut, I'll be there. He didn't go. I had no issues other than some jack ass tailgating me at freakin' 7 a.m. on Sunday morning in 5-degree weather. I hate tailgaters. I am a very careful driver. I stop for animals in the road, I slow down for pedestrians and cyclists, so tailgating someone like me only increases the chance for accident and injury. I make a good living at my real job off dumbasses who tailgate.
Once in Orland, I observed that the temperature had warmed up to a balmy 7 degrees. But once I exited my car, I was hit with wind. There wasn't any wind up north at my place. There is not much you can do with wind. It was brutal loading in.
Light crowd early on but I was not concerned because the Orland show has had a late-arriving crowd these past few years. By mid-morning the place was jammed. What else are you going to do on a cold January day? There is nothing better than a card show!!
It took me a while to set up. I brought out six display cases and all of my baseball binders along with the hockey, which Will requested. I kept most of the football and all of the basketball at home. With six display cases, I did not have any more room on my tables for more binders. I also didn't have any more room in my car.
Joe was the first customer at my table. He had emailed before the show and requested 1980 Topps. Joe has every year complete going back to 1952 Topps. I am not sure if he has the old Bowman sets. So he is starting on the 1980s because he enjoys set building but he is a stickler for condition. Before he completes his 1980 set he will go through tens of thousands of cards looking for perfect centering, edges, corners, surface. He will not place a card in his set if it has any defect of any kind.
Then Dan showed up. It was nice to see him, I have known him for years but have not seen him in awhile. Dan, is another collector, who like Joe, is working on 1980's sets but will only place perfect cards in his set. He offered me something like 30,000 1980 Topps that did not make the grade for his set, or sets, I should say. He put together three perfect sets of 1980 Topps. I declined the cards because I still have thousands of 1980 Topps that I purchased back in 1980! Also, except for the Rickey Henderson rookie, 1980 Topps are basically worthless. I will bring some out to shows but it is not worth my while to price out an entire set individually for set builders.
Back to Joe, he was disappointed in that he found only a handful of perfect 1980 Topps in my binder. On the other hand, he was pleased when he found some 1962 Post Yankees in my oddball binder and a few 1946-66 Exhibit team cards that I had brought for the customer from last month, who did not show up this time around.
Another quick tidbit about Joe, I learned on Sunday that he is a season ticket holder for Notre Dame football and has been to every Notre Dame home game going back 50 years!
Back to the show, last month I brought out football stars for my display cases. This time around I placed in there baseball stars from 1954 through the 1970's. Rick found a nice stack of cards from all the cases. Thanks Rick! Larry picked up a bunch of 1955 Bowmans. Then my hockey binders got a work out, good thing Will requested them!
Chris found a bunch of cards for his sets. Later Chris's wife introduced herself to me and said Chris told her to contact me if anything was to happen to him. Funny, just prior to meeting Chris's wife, Dan told me he gave his wife my name and number with instructions to call me if anything was to happen to him!
First of all, you guys are not allowed to die on me, period. Secondly, if you do die, even though I do forbid it, I will help liquidate your collections but please leave your spouses a little more information. Maybe an inventory list and an amount of money they should receive for the collections. So who is going to volunteer to help my wife liquidate my collection should something happen to me?
Anyway, it was really great to meet Chris's wife. She is awfully sweet and I have been following the athletic prowess of their kids on Facebook. What a nice family!
Speaking of families, I would like to give my best wishes to Paul P., whose mom has been ill these past few weeks.
Another good friend named Paul made it out to the show and purchased a large number of 1958 Topps. Thanks Paul! Will purchased a bunch of 1975-76 Topps Hockey along with my 1968 Topps Gordie Howe. Thanks for the purchases and the coffee Will!
Joel found some 1952 Bowman White Sox for his team set. A bunch of other guys dinked around my binders and I ended up having a decent day, not quite as good as the December show, but good enough.
On the buying front, I went hog wild. Dave and I had a deal in place prior to the show. He stopped in around 11 a.m. with a Portillo's hot dog for me and two boxes of cards. Thanks Dave! Then I bought all sorts of stuff from Junior throughout the show including a 1959 Topps Mickey Mantle. I bought a stack of 1957's from Jim and another stack of stuff from Walt. Thanks guys!
The temperature warmed up to a balmy 19 degrees during load out at 2 p.m. Me, Will, and Joe capped the day at the sub shop. I went with the "Depth Charge" sub which contains ham, turkey and road beef. Will and Joe went with Gyros. Another excellent day well spent in Orland Park.
Next up is my show at the Salvation Army Community Center, 8853 S. Howell, in Oak Creek, WI, on Saturday, February 1, 2020. This will be my first show of the new year and should be a good one with 30 dealers already lined up with two weeks to go. I think I might cap it at 35 dealers, so if you are considering setting up, let me know sooner rather than later.
I am looking forward to having next weekend off. I need the time to recharge and to price some cards. I just finished my 1978 Topps baseball binder and will start work on 1977-78 Topps Hockey. I am planning to just bring my binders and just one display case with graded cards for the Salvation Army show. Let me know if there are any raw star cards you are looking for. See you in two weeks!
I leave you with a photo of Paul, Yours Truly and Will, from the Jan. 19 Orland show.