By Rich Klein
Last weekend, I attended a local show near my house in Richardson, Texas. The show was promoted by Awesome Collector Shows and from reading the promotional material I guessed the promoter was formerly known as JIMV Enterprises based on the similarities between the verbiage used by JMV and the verbiage used by Awesome. When I arrived at the show on Sunday, my guess was correct as sure enough James was collecting the admission and at least there were free old SMR magazines at the door.
One thing that absolutely shocked me was every table was occupied. If you have ever read my reviews of previous JMV shows, you might recall the declined credit card episode that shut one show down almost before it started. That incident actually led to what we now call the Craig Ranch card show in McKinney, Texas to a room in which perhaps half the dealer tables are sold. It’s always good to see show tables occupied and buyers making the rounds.
One aspect that really helped the attendance at the most recent show was the appearance of Pro Football Hall of Famer Mel Renfro (who is among the nicest retired football players you will ever meet) and former boxing champ Reggie Johnson. Reggie was displaying some of his World Championship belts and I will assure you those belts were incredible looking. I asked him who he fought during his career and he said he fought such luminaries as James “Lights Out” Toney and Roy Jones Jr. He said although he was not awarded the decision, he actually beat Toney and when I checked BoxRec.Com and saw that was a split decision I’m willing to believe he has justification in thinking he won that fight. Johnson fought all the best from his era and was competitive in almost any fight. In fact this weekend, I will probably watch some of high fights on you tube because now I’m curious as to his abilities.
In between the two guests was the Beckett booth. I spent some time talking to Advertising Director Bill Dumas about hobby events past and present and discussed some of my recent Ramblings that involve Beckett memories from years past….like flying to an east coast card show that wasn’t.
You see, unbeknownst to us at Beckett, the dates posted in our Convention Calendar were incorrect and this show had actually taken place the weekend before. I had flown from Dallas for a show that had packed up a week earlier.
Fortunately, I knew the area well enough and had a back-up plan in place. So, I called our “travel coordinator”, explained what happened and asked her to cancel the hotel reservation.
Luckily, there was a back-up plan: a two- hour drive to the always successful White Plains, N.Y. show and I knew exactly how to get there. Staying with my dad in my old stomping grounds would mean not having to pay for a room. Needless to say, my father was shocked when I dropped my bags off and explained the whole situation but he was also thrilled to see me and realized we could spend a little bit of time together.
The White Plains show always featured some market makers in newer cards and there were always many dealers and collectors on hand so any excuse to go was welcome. I spent all day Saturday at White Plains and then left Sunday morning. And in case anyone wondered why I never moved back to New Jersey even after leaving Beckett, the 6 A.M. news on New York’s CBS-FM clinched the deal. There is nothing like hearing these words to begin your day: “The morning temperature Is three degrees with a wind chill of 30 below,” said the announcer. I thought that temperature was only that bad when I used to go to the Albany show.
Other than that little weather issue (which thankfully did not include any precipitation), having a back-up plan again helped to save the day, even though it wasn’t as famous as the “Puerto Rico” back-up plan discussed here yesterday. Thus, a good lesson is if you are thinking of going to any card show always have another plan ready in case option number one does not exist. I know in today’s world that is more difficult but even Bill Dumas told me when he travels for Beckett he always has his back-up plan.
And for today, the back-up plan is to have the next column in mind before setting down the words for this one. And yes, I have several more idea in the hopper and always seem to end up writing about other events. Someday I’ll remember to write the story about being caught in a tornado while doing stats at the U.S. Tennis Open.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]