The January show was held the 13th which ended a long show layoff for me. I usually don't go more than a week or so without doing a show but since I did not schedule a January show at the Salvation Army, I had no show to attend for about five weeks. I cannot remember the last time I went more than two weeks without a show, let alone five. So I was rearing to go on January 13.
I woke up that morning at the crack of dawn as usual. I loaded up my car and was on the road to Gonzaga around 7 a.m. After about a half hour or so of driving, the electrical in my car started to go wacko. The car was shutting off and on the the steering was locking up. My electric steering light came on. I got a little freaked out and pulled off the road somewhere north of Kenosha. I texted dealer Gary George to tell promoter Keith that I was having car trouble and would not make the show. I also emailed Keith.
I got back on the highway and drove home. I went over to the Firestone by my house because I knew they were the only place open on Sunday. A mechanic checked out my car and could not find anything wrong. The wacky electrical stuff did not happen while he was futzing around in there. He sent me on my way. Of course, as I drove away, the wacky electrical stuff started again. I eventually had the battery replaced and now it is driving just fine. I am so sorry I did not make the January show. I hated to miss the show!!
Before every show, I try to change up my display. I always bring out some new items and I rotate many items in and out between shows. The result is my tables are always different for each and every show I attend. For the February Gonzaga show I decided to bring out all of my display cases, which is now up to 10. I cannot remember the last show I brought out all 10 display cases. After setting everything up, I learned I could go up to 11 or 12 display cases because I was unable to put out all of my cards that I had ready for the cases. I probably have more cards priced and ready for my display cases currently than I have ever had before. One of these days I would like to be able to put all of the cards out. In the meantime, this show featured my largest display-case set up in a long time.
Chuck from Fon Du Lac greeted me early on. Last I saw Chuck, he was working on a 1964 Topps baseball set which he had since completed. On this fine morning, Chuck was working on a 1960 Topps baseball set. He was happy to see that I had a full binder of 1960 Topps and he proceeded to spend the next hour or so pulling cards. He also brought me his box of doubles, which I purchased.
Jason found some cards in my recently reloaded 1967 Topps baseball binder. A regular customer purchased some 1955 Bowman baseball. Another regular was eager to see my newly reloaded non-sports binder where he pulled a bunch of cards. Then there are my hockey regulars who found a bunch of hockey cards from the 1970s on my tables.
A few months ago I brought out my graded cards. I only bring them out every so often just to change things up. The graded cards don't sell very well for me at shows. They seem to sell much better on eBay, so I just don't bring them out that often. Anyway, the last time I brought them out, Larry spotted a 1964 Topps Nellie Fox, which I think was a PSA 8. He had been asking me to bring the Fox out again and of course, I could never remember to do so! I finally remembered to bring out the Fox and Larry was happy to purchase it.
Along with many familiar customers, I always see new customers at my tables at each and every show which is a great indicator that the hobby is alive and well. This show was no exception. A new customer purchased some 1949 Bowman baseball. Another new customer purchased some 1954 Bowman baseball. I had a brand new customer purchase some 1974 Topps football. Another new customer purchased some 1951 Bowman baseball.
A regular customer purchased some 1968 Topps baseball. Then there is this guy, whose name escapes me, I've known him for years. He used to set up regularly at the Gonzaga show with his brother and they owned a card shop in Milwaukee. He is kind of a character and we always have a conversation that borders on the bizarre. Anyway, he purchased a T206 from me at this show.
A regular customer purchased some 1953 Johnston Cookies. For those unfamiliar with the Johnston Cookies, these were cards issued in the 1950's in Wisconsin and depict the old Milwaukee Braves. I am a huge fan of these cards. They're really cool looking and are a neat piece of history.
Back to my sales, a regular customer purchased some 1955 Topps baseball. Another regular customer purchased some 1971 Kellogg's baseball.
On the buying front, I had been working on a purchase of a large collection for months. We finally came to an agreement right before the show. The seller offered to bring the cards to the show but I thought it would be easier if I just stopped off at his house after the show. Unfortunately, it was February in Milwaukee and I had a harrowing drive to the south suburbs in the snow.
The seller's driveway was a slippery mess and I almost fell on my tail a few times loading the cards into my car. While loading, I realized that picking up the cards after the show was a bad idea because I had very little room in my car. The seller had bins of binders. I had to remove the binders from the bins and stick them in all sorts of nooks and crannies in my car. Luckily, I was able to get all the cards in there, about 50,000 cards in total.
The collection had cards from the 1960s through the 1990s, some publications and a handful of autographs. I did not want the 1980s and 1990s stuff but the seller wanted to get rid of it all. Actually, I think his wife wanted him to get rid of it all. I have gone through all of the vintage and there was some nice stuff in there. A ton of 1968 and 1969 Topps baseball including stars. There was a complete set of 1970-71 Topps basketball and a bunch of football from the late 1960's and early 1970's. A real good haul. I will probably bring the 1980s and 1990s stuff out to the flea market this summer.
I know I had a decent day selling cards. I had an absolutely phenomenal day buying cards. The week prior, at my show at the Salvation Army, I set up a deal to buy another collection. This time around, 5,000 cards and they were all vintage and the seller's childhood collection. The seller brought in the collection but I did not have a chance to look at them and pretty much paid him sight unseen. I've been burned before when I fail to review the cards before purchase. This time, I was pleasantly surprised and had a great time going through all the cards after the show.
There were near complete, complete sets, and tons of doubles of baseball from 1970 through 1973; football from 1969 through 1974; basketball from 1970-71 to 1973-74; and hockey from 1971-72 to 1973-74 Topps. There were also a bunch of inserts. I went through all the cards and pulled out a huge stack of stars and hall of famers. Fun stuff.
I also bought a bunch of other stuff at the show including a box of baseball cards from 1959 through 1970. All commons but really nice shape and with high numbers. I picked up some 1961 NU Sports, some more 1973 football, and some ABA programs. An amazing haul. My bank account is significantly lighter but my inventory is just silly. Wow, that was incredibly fun!!!
The next Gonzaga show is Sunday, April 14, 2019. In the meantime, my next show at the Salvation Army, 8853 S. Howell, Oak Creek, WI, is just a few days away on Saturday, April 6, 2019. I'll have a ton of new stuff out at the show. Also, 27 dealers have signed up so far. As a result, I'll have 50-plus tables at the show Saturday. Be sure to come hungry and try some food at the concession stand. All concession sales benefit the Salvation Army. As usual, two free packs of cards for everyone who attends. I've picked up all sorts of wax to give away. No admission!! See you Saturday!!!