I had a nice crowd at my tables early on. Jason picked up some cards. Jim found a 1954 Topps common. Mark purchased those cool Mutoscopes I had picked up a few weeks ago. Jack bought some cards. Jeff found some too. Dave purchased a bunch of 1970 Topps football. Tim came in from Madison and we did a nice cash and trade deal. I also traded some cards with Terry. I had one customer pull a large pile out of my 1967 Topps baseball binder. Rob purchased a bunch of 1979 Topps. All sorts of other guys purchased cards. I was so busy in the morning that Mark and Ken came over and requested I send some customers their way. I also had quite a few kids purchase cards today. I always like seeing kids interested in the hobby.
Unfortunately, I was unable to obtain some of the famous Gonzaga show cake. By the time I made it to the concession stand, all the cake was gone. I was able to purchase a couple of doughnuts but it just wasn't nearly as satisfying.
Quite a few guys commented on seeing the advertisement in the Milwaukee Journal for the last Smith & Gordon card show. Those that attended our show had some nice comments. They liked the fact that I was able to bring in Illinois dealers like Willie and Ryan along with Seth from Indy. I'm pretty sure Willie and Ryan will be set up at the December 20th Smith & Gordon show. I'm not sure yet about Seth. I purchased the large Mitchell Room for the December 20 show and have plenty of extra dealer tables if anybody is interested. I would like to lure more out-of-town dealers. The customers seem to really appreciate the new dealers.
Back at the Gonzaga show, former Brave Felix Mantilla was signing autographs in a back room. I didn't get an auto because I had one from the last time Felix Mantilla was at the show. He didn't walk into the main room like a lot of the other autograph guests, which was disappointing. I love seeing the old players.
On the buying front, the other Mark introduced me to a gentleman from Green Bay who brought down a few really nice vintage cards. He was debating on setting up at my December 20th show. I ended up purchasing a really nice 1958 Topps Mickey Mantle All Star card from him.
I observed that quite a few guys were dressed in camouflage hunting gear. One customer told me deer hunting season is this coming weekend. There was no deer hunting season where I grew up in the Chicago suburbs. I think Chicago is probably one of the few places in the country where hunting is not a very popular sport. There are plenty of hunting areas in Wisconsin and Michigan that are a short drive from Chicago but hunting remains somewhat of mystery to most Chicagoans, myself included. My parents grew up in inner-city Chicago and their generation rarely left their neighborhood. Everyone lived, worked, and shopped close to home. The only adventure out was an occasional visit to Downtown Chicago. As a result, when we moved out to the suburbs in the 1960s, along with flocks of other city-dwellers, we rarely left our little burg except to visit grandma and grandpa back in the city.
Another observation from this show is that like every show there are quite a few guys that read my blog. I think the particular blogs that stick out for most people are the comedic ones. I notice that guys walk by my table and look at me with some sort of knowing smirk on their face. When they come back and strike up a conversation, it is usually about the blog. I have been writing for publication now since 1987 and have experienced this before. As some may know, I published a newspaper about Chicago taverns from 1994 to 2001. I used to experience this same sort of thing when I was in a tavern. Folks would walk by and give me that knowing smirk. When we eventually started to talk they would always mention some goofy article I wrote that cracked them up. I got a lot of free drinks that way. It is nice to know so many people read this blog and that I can still be entertaining. One of these days I am going to dig out some of my old drinking stories and post them here. I did some funny work back in the day.
On a serious note, I would like to give a shout out to the ailing Mike Rodell. I am not sure how many years now I have been setting up at the Gonzaga show. I think maybe 10 or so. This was my first show where Mike Rodell was absent. Mike is the VP of the Wisconsin Sports Collectors Association, the non-profit group that puts on the Gonzaga show. Mike is one of the nicest guys I know and has always greeted me with a smile and a salutation as I enter the room on the morning. Mike also buys cards from me to fill out his Brewers sets and sends quite a few customers over my way. I can't say how much I appreciate Mike. He is putting up the good fight against the big C. He was sorely missed at this show. My thoughts and prayers are with Mike and his family as he battles on. I am hopeful he will be back behind his table for the December show. The Gonzaga show is not quite the same without Mike holding court across the way from me and discussing some aspect of the old Milwaukee Braves.
The day went by fast and I was the last one out of the room, as usual. I ended up having a nice day on the sales front. I was also pleased with my Mantle purchase and the nice groups of cards I received in trade.
Next up is the three-day Fan Fanatic Show in Rosemont, Illinois. The is the Sun-Times show, simply with a new name. I am working on reloading 1978-79 Topps hockey for the show. This is my best show for hockey so I always make sure I reload something new for the show. I'll be set up with my usual partners Bob and Dave. I am pretty sure we will be in our usual spot. If anybody would like me to bring out anything particular for the show, drop me a line. See you in Rosemont!