I was really looking forward to the flea market. My kids had planned to come out with me. They organized and priced their old toys to sell. I purchased a few more card tables for more display space. I had a really nice day in May when I had set up for Mother's Day. June 19th was Father's Day and I was expecting the same kind of crowd and sales as Mother's Day.
I wish I did not set up at all. Turned out to be boiling hot all day long, not much of a crowd and not too many sales. Did I say ugh? I've lost my motivation to set up at the flea market again this summer. Though, there are a couple of ones I'm considering like the one in Green Bay, Wisconsin, or the all-night flea market in Wheaton, Illinios. I don't think I'm heading back to Wilmot this year.
June 26, 2016 -- Indian Lakes Resort -- Bloomingdale, Illinois
As much as I love buying and selling cards, the truly best part about setting up at card shows is the friends I've made. I can't express how much I enjoy seeing everyone each
week. I am just lucky to know all of you! I hate to sound sappy but everyone I meet at the shows really makes my world better. As you know, I set up at a Fred Copp show or two every month in the Chicago area. There is a great group of regular dealers and customers that I have known for years. I look forward to seeing everyone each month. Dealer Ted Lee is one of my favorites. He is just always so pleasant and we share a lot of the same interests and I just enjoy talking with him.
Ted used to be a great sounding board for me when we was regularly doing eBay. He got frustrated and stopped posting cards on eBay a few years ago. I then created a Fred Copp Facebook page to help promote Fred's shows. I was probably the first person to "like" the page. Ted was the second "like." In the beginning, I had trouble finding time to post on there regularly. Ted offered to help and has been so diligent at keeping the page up, posting information about each week's shows. With Ted's efforts, the page has grown from two likes to 157. Then we created a Midwest Card Show Facebook page to promote the non-Fred Copp shows we attend. Ted has been instrumental in keeping the Midwest Card Show page up to date.
Ted is also a Chicago sports fan like me. I look forward to discussions about the various sports teams with Ted. The best thing about Ted is that he is a super nice guy. He is just one of those people you look forward to seeing.
While I was setting up at the June 26th Bloomingdale show, Ted hit me with the news he has lung cancer. What a blow! I #$%^&* hate cancer!! It seems to only hit good people. I am just so hopeful there is some way Ted can overcome his cancer.My thoughts and prayers are with Ted and his family during this tough time.
I kinda lost my interest in the show after hearing Ted's unfortunate news so I really don't have anything to report. I'm setting up at the Indian Lakes show again on July 31 and I'm hopeful Ted will be there.
July 3, 2016 -- Wyndham Garden Hotel -- Schaumburg, Illinois
Being a baseball card dealer is often an emotional roller coaster. You battle at each show to make some sales. You battle to purchase some cards. You try to have a good time. You make and lose many friends along the way. The June 26 show was just depressing. I'm concerned about my friend Ted and am hoping for the best.
The July 3rd show, on the other hand, was a really nice show where a great group of some my most favorite people came out to see me. Thanks guys! There was Dave F., who trucked out to Schaumburg all the way from north-central Indiana. There were my pals Will and Joe, who I haven't seen in ages, and who trucked out to Schaumburg all the way from the Southwest Side of Chicago. There was my friend Andy from Orlando. I got to see Paul for the second week in a row after not seeing him for a few years. There was another friend Dave, who I had not seen in a long time that came out. These guys put me and a great mood... and they purchased a bunch of cards. Truly one of my best Schaumburg shows in a long time. Thanks again guys!
I even ended up buying some stuff. I purchased about 500 1976 Topps baseball that were in EX+ condition. Just a tremendous day.
July 9, 2016 -- Clarion Hotel -- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
My first question was how are they getting food and what are they eating? Don't seagulls eat fish? There are no fish in the cement parking lot. It really seems like someone is feeding them. I don't understand how this huge mass of birds can multiply in a parking lot without any source of food.
After seeing the birds sit on all the cars, I thought I would park in a handicap spot closer to the hotel and avoid the rain fall of bird poo. Larry shamed me out of my plan to park in the handicap spot. So I drove over to a nearby medical clinic and thought about parking there until I saw the "Private Parking" signs and worried I would get towed. I then drove all around to the other side of the Clarion looking for a spot but to no avail. I had to park by the birds. I found a spot along a fence that appeared to have a little distance from the main bird area. Though, as soon as I got out of my car, birds began to dive bomb at me and I ran to the Clarion for safety. What the hell!???
Other dealers said the birds dive bombed them as well. The noise from the birds was also cranked up a notch and it once again permeated the card show all day long.
It took me a while to set up because the hotel did not have all the tables I needed, even though I ordered 28 tables and they only brought 25. I finally tracked down a worker and asked for three more tables. He was argumentative and said three more won't fit in the room. I told him I ordered 28 tables and need my 28 tables. Then he gave me some crap like the hotel didn't have the tables. After running this show in the hotel for two years, I know they have hundreds of tables. I am going to have to work this out with management.
We had a really solid dealer line up for the show with Mark Smith, Gary George, Pat Lawrence, Mike Johnson, Larry (whose last name escapes me), new dealer Troy from Madison, Alex Rauter and Bill Nest. With such a great dealer line up, money was exchanged in the room as deals were made.
We had a nice group of customers early on but did not get our usual steady flow throughout the day. Things really slowed down by 11 a.m. I had some really nice sales. Jason purchased my 1933 Tattoo Orbits Rogers Hornsby and Al Simmons. Jerome pulled a large pile of 1975 Topps baseball. Jack went to town on my 1968 and 1969 Topps football. Quite a few regulars dinked around my binders.
Surprisingly, I did not buy a single card. This is usually my best buying show but nothing walked in this time around.
Speaking of cards walking, Bill reported that his car was burglarized recently and he lost a large amount of inventory. Be on the lookout for anyone selling PSA autographs for cheap. They may be Bill's stolen cards. I hate thiefs!
After the show, I had to shake my fists and scream at the birds to keep them from dive bombing into my head. There was a bird on the roof of my car. The car was soiled. Ugh!
I don't know what to expect when we return to the Clarion on August 6th. Freakin' birds!
Below is a picture from the July 9th show at the Clarion. Come on out to the August 6th show... mind the birds.
I took a couple of days off work and drove down to St. Louis with my kids for a mini-vacation. We saw the Arch, went to the zoo and the St. Louis Children's Museum and had a really nice time. We visited many restaurants. Our favorite was Bandana's BBQ. I don't know if Bandana's is a chain but it is really excellent. I had the combo ribs and turkey plate. I enjoyed the Kansas City style barbecue sauce. The ribs were smoked and delicious. The turkey was tender and delicious as well.
After a fun two days vacationing, we went to Machinist Hall where I reserved two tables. The kids kept busy on their electronics. I attempted to sell some cards. The crowd was down from my last visit and sales were few and far inbetween. We may have lost some customers to the Cardinals game and to another show in town, which was more of an autograph show. Even though I took some lumps, I'll probably set up at this show again sometime in the future. Promoters Ron and Bob are super guys and worthy of another shot.
As Dorothy said, there is no place like home! I rebounded quickly from the Machinist Hall show by having a phenomenal show at Gonzaga. Superstar customer Chuck from Fond Du Lac purchased my 1970 Topps Baseball complete set along with my 1972 Topps Baseball lot of 524 cards. Tim F. purchased some early 1950's Bowman baseball. Andy purchased some of my newly reloaded 1955 Bowman baseball. Quite a few regulars purchased cards. I was extremely busy from about 9:30 a.m. to noon.
In the midst of all this selling, I did some buying, see picture above. I picked up a nice group of 1959 and 1960 Topps baseball. A smattering of 1961, 1962 and 1963 Topps baseball including a 1961 Topps All Star Mickey Mantle. I also purchased a 1976 Topps Walter Payton Rookie and a 1981 Topps Joe Montana rookie. I was very pleased with my purchases.
This was just another tremendous day at Gonzaga Hall. I love this show!!!
Oddly, I have no shows scheduled for the upcoming weekend. My next show is on Sunday, July 31, at the Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomingdale, Illinois. I am working on reloading 1970 Topps football. I should have 1955 Topps baseball ready to go by the Bloomingdale show as well.
A huge thank you to everyone who purchased cards from me at Gonzaga. That was fun!! See you at Indian Lakes on July 31st!!