What an ugly morning! Rain, rain, rain! I got soaked loading up my car in the morning. I packed some paper towels and a tarp for load into the Civic Center as I expected nothing but rain.
Yep, there was nothing but rain during my drive down to Orland which turned out to be one of my worst ever as a jack-knifed semi blocked three out of the four lanes on the I294, just south of O’Hare. It was a parking lot as cars tried to maneuver from the outer lanes into the single lane. My normal 45-minute drive ballooned to an hour and a half.
I usually try to make it to the Civic Center around 8 a.m. but on this morning I did not arrive until 8:45 a.m. and it was pouring rain. Luckily, I was able to snag the large green cart so I could bring everything in on one trip. As I was finishing loading up the cart in the rain, Rick stopped me and informed me that he had brought his four display cases that I agreed to purchase last month. He asked that I pull up next to his car but I had the cart almost loaded and everything was getting soaked with rain. I told him I needed to get this stuff inside. We agreed to come back out later for the display cases.
As a veteran dealer, I learned long ago to keep my cards in water-proof tubs. The tops of the tubs were covered in water when I arrived inside. I also brought in three display cases that I covered in a tarp. There was still quite a bit of water on the cases, which I wiped off with paper towels. It pays to be prepared!
Next item on the agenda was to set up as quickly as possible as customers were already filtering into he room. I was able to set up in record time! I had all the binders out and all three display cases loaded with cards by 9:15 a.m. This may have been my fastest set up ever!
For some reason, I thought I had more room for more binders. Turns out I had no space for my hockey binders and most of my basketball binders. I think I’ll bring just two display cases next month so I can get out all of the basketball and hockey binders.
Last month I brought just display cases, no binders, and was able to place out all of my higher end baseball along with football through 1962. So today, I put out higher end football from 1963 on along with all of my higher end basketball and hockey.
My pals Will and Joe arrived shortly after I finished setting up. As usual, they brought me an Egg McMuffin and a cup of coffee. Thanks guys! I was able to get that McMuffin down without too many interruptions. I needed that fuel!
Nice crowd! After breakfast, I was busy the rest of the morning. The guy who purchased my entire 1969 Topps baseball binder a few months ago wanted a price on my entire 1964 Topps baseball binder. I have known this guy long enough to where I now have an idea of his spending limit. I knew the ‘64 binder would be priced too high for him. The price came out to $966. He said he will come with a list next time.
My main man Mike was there and pulled some cards out of my newly reloaded 1970 Topps baseball binder. Thanks Mike! A bunch of other regulars pulled some cards. Rick pulled some 1972-73 Topps basketball. I paid him for the display cases and we went outside and made the exchange. Thankfully, the rain had died down.
Once back at my tables, a regular pulled a pile of 1977 Topps baseball. A couple really dickered with me over some hockey cards. I have some really nice cards from the 1970’s right now and have them priced appropriately. The centering is slightly off on my 1970-71 Topps Bobby Hull but the rest of the card is sharp! I am not discounting it, sorry. They did purchase my 1970-71 Topps Stan Mikita and my 1971-72 Topps Tony Esposito. It is so easy to sell old Blackhawks in the Chicago area. I do not need to discount them.
A father and son team were the big winners today. They pulled a nice pile of 1955 Bowman baseball. Another regular pulled a nice pile of 1973 Topps baseball. Will started on the 1976 Topps baseball set today and pulled a nice pile. Thank Will!
I saw a lot of the Orland regulars like Chris T., Milan, Eddie, tow-truck Chris, and Mike S., among others. Always great to see those guys. It was also nice chatting with dealers Tom M. and Phil. Across the way from me in Orland, there are some great guys set up like Carl, Casey and Tom. It is almost always an enjoyable day in Orland where there are so many great people!
On the buying front, another great day! I purchased a near set of 1968 Topps baseball, then two near sets of 1975 Topps baseball. I normally like to purchase cards from my buddy Walt but ran out of funds. Also, my pal Jeff P. likes to scope out potential deals for me, but again, I ran out of funds. I appreciate the tips Jeff! Once again, I went home with more cards than I came with plus four additional display cases.
I was concerned I would not be able to fit everything into my car but somehow got it all in there. It sure sucked unloading the car once I got home. Ugh!
After the show, Will, Joe and I went to the sub shop. I went with a “Depth Charge” sub sandwich this time which consists of ham, road beef, turkey, tomatoes and onions. It was quite good.
We watched a little bit of the Bear-Bucs game in the sub shop. Like last week, the Bears kept it close in the first half then fell apart in the second half. Looked like the Bears offensive line stunk it up again — sorry Paul, that line sucks! Though, during the show, Mike S. seemed to agree with Paul and said he did not think the line was that bad. We all agree that Justin Fields is not the guy. I would like to see the Bears trade him for some draft picks.
As usual, the show cleared out around noon. I think I was out of the Civic Center by 1:30 p.m. My neighbor Tommy Larson said that if Tony is packing up, it is time to go! Yes, it was time to go as there was hardly anybody in the room by 1 p.m. During football season, all shows clear out early so everyone can go watch some football.
I was on my way home from the sub shop unusually early. Traffic home was not too bad. Though, I am so over all the construction on the 294. Ugh! I got home in time to fall asleep watching the afternoon NFL games.
Overall, sales were down from last month, but not too bad. I think I had doubled my Woodstock sales from the previous day by 10 a.m. I love the Orland show and appreciate Rich, Karen and the crew. Thanks guys for putting on another excellent show!
Next Orland show is slated for October 15. I hope Mother Nature dials up a dry day for the 15th!
In the meantime, I am trucking out to Lansing, Michigan, for the Lansing Mall show on September 23rd. I was set up at this show earlier in the summer and had an excellent show. I am looking forward to it and to seeing my son, who is out that way now at Michigan State. My daughter is coming with me because she misses the boy as well. I am looking forward to a really nice weekend with my kids.
The next Oak Creek show is on October 7 and I am getting a lot of interest. Please be patient with me, I am behind on answering emails and hope to catch up soon!
A huge thank you to everyone in Orland who bought and sold me cards. I had a really enjoyable day! There is nothing like a card show!! Life is good!!