Normally I set up in Rockford on the second Saturday of every month but John and Mike did not schedule an October Rock Church show. Instead, they teamed up with Beau from Madison to create a two-day show in Loves Park, just outside of Rockford, on the following weekend. As a result, I had October 8th open.
I'm old school and still rely on Beckett to find shows. I saw on Beckett's online show calendar that Nicholas Parsons was operating a show on October 8th in Bridgeview, IL. I think Nick has been running this show for a couple of years and I have always had conflicts. Nick's show is a two-day show as well. I contacted him to see if I could do just the one day on Saturday because I had scheduled a Pop-Up shop on Sunday, October 9.
Nick agreed to allow me to set up on October 8 and forego the 9th. Next item, I had to decide what to bring. Luckily, Will made that decision for me when he asked that I bring binders. I loaded my car with the binders and had a real easy drive down to Bridgeview. I think I got there in 30 to 40 minutes.
I saw Bob Lucas when I pulled up and he directed me to the entrance. It is always great to see Bob, one of the good guys in the hobby. Once inside, I took note of the sign showing a kitchen nearby. Inside the main room, I saw Nick, who directed me to my spot.
I had two eight footers and was not sure I brought enough binders to cover them both. Turned out I had exactly the right number of binders. After setting up, I found the kitchen and ordered a nice hot cup of coffee.
I returned to my tables, drank my coffee and chilled out for a while before my first customer arrived. My first customer was a regular I recognized from my Oak Creek show. He had a pile of lists he was working on. Perfect! He spent a good hour at my table pulling cards. He kind of beat me up a bit on price but I appreciated the sale. Going into the show, I was not sure I would have any sales outside of Will.
Will and Joe arrived while I was negotiating with my first customer. It was pretty cool to see those guys outside of Orland. Will started working on some 1966 Topps football. Then Mike arrived. Always great to see Mike as well. I learned that Mike is a fellow Class of 1985 high school graduate. Mike and his son love hockey cards. I informed Mike that I recently reloaded 1975-76 Topps hockey. Mike proceeded to drain the '75-76 Topps hockey. Thanks Mike!
My main man Paul Ponce arrived next. He grabbed my 1976 Topps baseball binder and also gave me a packet of 1974 Topps baseball. Thanks Paul! Now Paul is unique in that he freakin' knows everybody! He and Mike started up a conversation. After learning where Mike grew up, turns out they both knew all of the same people from a little burg southwest of Chicago.
Then Mike and I got to talking and I learned that his family settled in the same part of Chicago as mine after emigrating from Eastern Europe. I think it was Mike's grandfather who graduated from Tuley High School in Chicago in 1930. My grandmother was a 1925 graduate of Tuley.
I then met a new customer covered in White Sox garb. I learned he lives near me in Lake County, Illinois. New guy purchased a nice pile of 1957 Topps baseball. I was cooking! I sold a ton of cards! How have I missed this show? I need to add this one to my regular rotation. Unfortunately, I learned that Nick doesn't have another Bridgeview show until January 8 -- I am definitely setting up on January 8th!
I had a few more sales and ended up having a really nice day. Nobody offered to sell me anything. I was too busy to check out the other tables. I think several other dealers had vintage. The guys set up on my left had like six tables. One of them stopped over and told me they came in from Michigan and they want to set up in Oak Creek. He wasn't happy when I told him I have a two-table maximum for dealers at my Oak Creek show. It is hard for most dealers to understand that I have a waiting list and am overrun with dealers. The only way to allow more guys to set up in Oak Creek is to limit each dealer to two tables. Hell, I can easily fill six tables with stuff, but I am limited to two tables as well... and I run the show!
As usual, I booked the Bridgeview show without asking about table fee. I was relieved when Nick only charged me $95 for the tables. I think I have PTSD from that Merrillville show where I was charged $200 for two tables for one day.
I should have also asked the hours of the show. I assumed the show began at 9 a.m. but most dealers did not arrive until 9 a.m. Maybe this show starts at 10 a.m. I also packed up and left around 2 p.m. and it seemed like the majority of the dealers were still set up and open for business when I departed. Does this show go to 3 p.m.?
Anyway, Will, Joe and I planned to go to the Patio for lunch and I was starving. I ate a hot dog from the kitchen earlier but it did not kill my appetite. When Will mentioned the Patio prior to the show, I had BBQ on my mind all day. I love the Patio, a small chain located in the south suburbs of Chicago. Their BBQ ribs are sooooo good!
Patio did not disappoint. Man, that was good stuff!!
What a great day! A huge thank you to Nick for putting on such a great show. A huge thank you to Will, Mike, Paul and everyone else who purchased cards!
I had my Pop-up Shop on Sunday. Pop-up Shop blog coming soon.
Next up for me is the Woodstock show on Saturday, October 15, 2022, at the St. John's Lutheran Church, 401 St. John's Road, Woodstock, IL. I have not set up in Woodstock in months so I am really looking forward to the show. As usual, I am not sure what to bring out. I remember I brought out binders last time. I am leaning towards display cases to shake things up. Of course, I take special requests. Let me know what you would like to see Saturday in Woodstock.
Have a great week everybody!