No Mike Slinkman Road Report for this one because the drive was essentially the same as my drive to Orland last week. Mike, pictured above, was set up next to me at the Lake Station show. We like to joke but Mike's cards are no joke. He has some amazing cards. I love his 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth.
Back to the road report, only wrinkle on this morning was that I thought I could make the drive without the aid of a GPS but got nervous once I entered Indiana and did not see an exit for Central Avenue. As soon as I plugged in the GPS, the Central Avenue exit popped up. So now I'm confident that I can make the drive in January without the aid of the trusty GPS.
Lake Station, Indiana, seems like a weird place to me, one that is stuck in time. Nothing looks new in Lake Station. Everything seems old and a bit crusty, which makes me feel right at home.
I love the bar in the VFW. There were a bunch of middle-aged ladies chain smoking in there, reminded me of Marge Simpson's sisters. They were serving up hot dogs today, thankfully. I ate two of 'em. Only cash in the bar. No credit cards but they do have an ATM which I had to hit to get some funds for a purchase.
It was my birthday. I can't think of a better place to spend my birthday than at a card show... and spend I did as I bought myself a 1969 Topps Mickey Mantle White Name Variation -- tough card. First time I have ever owned one and the perfect birthday gift for me!
Mike and Derek greeted me with happy birthdays. Thanks guys! I love that so many people read this blog and many knew it was my birthday from last week's blog. Derek liked my idea of a 1972 Topps booth. I am going to start working on it soon. It will take a while to get it together.
The Lake Station VFW is a great place for a card show. The hall is absolutely huge. I bet you could fit a 100 or so tables in there. Unfortunately, seemed like less dealers than my last adventure to Lake Station. I'd love to see this show grow because it fits perfectly into my monthly schedule and is such a great venue. We definitely need to get more dealers and more customers out for this show.
As I learned in operating my Oak Creek show, the most difficult task is getting the word out and getting folks to attend the show. Bob, the promoter, regularly takes out a Facebook ad which is very helpful. I just googled Lake Station, Indiana, newspaper and came up with the Northwest Indiana Times and posted the January 22nd show in their events calendar. Woot! Doing my part! I firmly believe that dealers must assist in promoting the show.
Needless to say, sales weren't so great at my birthday show. So, what does any self-respecting veteran sports card dealer do when sales are low? Answer: buy your way out of the show.... and buy I did with that '69 Mantle along with a box of low-grade vintage. Nice haul when I was not expecting to purchase anything at this show.
I did have a few guys buy some cards. One guy was working on some upgrades for his 1959 set that he started as a kid back in 1959. He had a great story about how he completed his set back then. He told me that by the fall of 1959, he was down to just one card -- Jerry Lumpe and just could not obtain the card. He enlisted his folks for help. His dad told everyone at the local tavern that he would supply the drinks to anyone who could find his son a Jerry Lumpe.
Well, our hero said that the summer of 1960 arrived and still no Jerry Lumpe so he started to work on the 1960 Topps baseball set. At some point over the summer of 1960, his dad received a call from a bartender at the tavern alerting him that there was a cust0mer at the bar who had the Lumpe and was waiting for his drinks. Our guy's dad went down to the tavern, bought the guy some beers, drank a few himself, and returned home, a little sloppy, but with the Lumpe and, thus, the '59 set was complete.
Our guy told me that his mother promptly took the set of cards put them in a shoe box, taped it shut, and hid it away, telling her son that these cards will be worth some money some day. How did she know? I mean nobody in 1959 had any idea that baseball cards would have any value in the future. I think a pack only cost a nickel in 1959. What foresight! How about that! A mother who preserved her kid's cards instead of tossing them in the garbage. Wow!
Not much else to report. My brother Jon came out to visit me for my birthday. I was kind of hoping he'd show up, which made my day.
I was supposed to meet my folks after the show for dinner but was too tired when I got home and promptly fell asleep. Now my crazy 84-year-old parents are driving down to Florida. I'm not sure when I'll see them next but will get dinner with them down the road. Warning: anyone on the road from Chicago to Miami this week, beware! My dad is the world's worst driver!! He will speed by you and cut you off. He is NOT your typical old man driver. My wife and kids won't get into a car with him.
He plays this game every time he drives down to Florida. It is a simple game; he must make it to Miami in less time than the last time he drove there. He is a madman and will stop at nothing to beat his time.
He has been playing this game my whole life. It was torture for my siblings and I as children as dad refused to ever stop for a bathroom break during those childhood trips to Florida. We all learned the hard way not to drink a thing during the drive. Speaking of 1959, that was the year my folks got married. They're still together and still driving to Florida, wreaking havoc on the roadways!
But I digress. Anyway, this was another double bill weekend with the Root River show on Sunday. Root River blog coming soon!
As you can see, not many people attended the show. I'm setting up at the next one on January 22... COME ON OUT!!!
Also, please note that my Oak Creek show will NOT be on January 1st. I've scheduled the show for January 15th. I'll be back on the first Saturday of the month for the rest of the 2022 shows.
My last show of 2021 is Orland on December 26th. See you then!