I had to miss the May show because it was scheduled the same day as the Gonzaga show. So I was really looking forward to the June show. I had reloaded all of my 1970s baseball binders and added some neat stuff to my display cases like 1948 Bowman basketball.
It is a long meandering drive from my house in Lake County, Illinois, to Orland Park which is in the southern end of Cook County. If you have never been to the Chicago area, Cook County holds Chicago and a large chunk of the surrounding suburbs. More than five million people live in Cook County. It is massive and to drive from one end to the other is at least an hour drive on the highway on a Sunday morning. Heading back in the afternoon is an hour and a half or longer. So I am always relieved when I arrive at the Civic Center after that long drive.
However, as long as my drive may be, others travel much further than I do for this show. There's Walt that drives a couple hours up from central Indiana. I saw Jim from Michigan at this show. I also met another dealer from Michigan as well. There are usually a few guys that make the trip from Wisconsin. I saw a dealer from Iowa at the show, though he wasn't set up, he came as a customer.
Needless to say, the Orland show is pretty good and getting better under the leadership of promoter Rich Troy. My only complaint is that Rich slightly moved my tables for the April and June shows. I take three tables up against the west wall. The room has a goofy design where every 20 feet there is a doorway. The walls jet inward at each doorway. So my middle table is at a doorway with the walls that jet inward. The result is that there is a degree of difficulty walking behind my three tables because of the doorway walls that block the middle table. I have to put my display cases on the far left and far right ends of my set up which really drives me crazy. I like my display cases to be in a row. This is causing me a real problem. As, I've stated before, I set up at shows for fun, not to be aggravated. This set up is driving me nuts. For the next show, I am going to pull my tables way out into the aisle. I don't know what else to do. I am going to have to figure this one out because I can't keep setting up this way.
Another problem with the Orland show is thieves. This has nothing to do with the promoter. For whatever reason, this show attracts middle-aged men who don't look like criminals but have dancing hands and swipe cards. There is one guy in particular who usually wears some sort of Hawaiian shirt. He looks to be 65 years old or so, he swipes cards from me every show. The problem is that I never catch him in the act but I know he's taking cards. I enlisted my pal Will to keep tabs on the thief at this show. This thief is well schooled. He was able to take a handful of cards out of my 50-cent box without me or Will seeing him. Will's son Joe saw the thief in the back hallway pull a handful of cards out of his pocket. The cards were in my holders. So maybe he stole three or four bucks worth of cards. Not a big loss but it still sucks that this guy is at every show swiping cards from me and other dealers. To all my regular customers, please help me keep an eye on this guy. I want to catch him in the act and have him arrested.
The June show itself was excellent. I was mobbed as usual. Dave, Rick, Will, Chris, Larry and Paul bought a bunch of stuff. Like I said in my last Gonzaga blog, I'm horrible with names. Please give me a reminder and I'll list you here in the blog. I really appreciate everyone. There is a great group of guys that regularly buy from me at this show and we have such a good time.
I made the mistake of talking politics which never goes over well. I think we would all be better served if we stick to discussing cards and sports at the shows. There is a huge political divide in this country right now and I am not going to be able to convince anyone to think like me and no one is going to be able to convince me to think like them. Cards and sports are a happy medium and we can usually agree. I respect everyone and you have the right to think in any manner that you please, as well as do I. Let's just agree to disagree.
So, I ended up selling a ton of cards this show. One guy spent a few hours at my table amassing huge piles of cards from my 1970's binders. A huge thank you to everyone who bought cards!
I also bought a TON of stuff. Junior came around a few times. I can't remember what I bought from him. I few other guys sold me some odds and ends. One customer sold me a large box of old football cards along with two large boxes of publications. I was concerned I would not be able to fit everything into my car but I was able to make it work.
After the show, Will, Joe, Paul and I went over to City Barbecue up the street. Paul had recommended the place and he was spot on. I had an amazing BBQ turkey sandwich with a side of BBQ beans that had chunks of brisket in it. A few days letter, I saw that a City Barbecue had opened up closer to home in Deerfield. I went there and bought a sample platter that had everything on it like turkey, chicken, ribs, and brisket. Oh my, that was awesome!
I will be set up at the July Orland show this Sunday, July 22. I'm hopeful I get my old set up back. It will be another frustrating day if I have to battle that doorway again. Ugh! Though, if I can hit City Barbecue again after the show, all will be right in the world.