Tuesday, May 11, 2010
The Grand Daddy Show, Not for Wimps
With the burst of Spring energy in the shop, I finally have some money in my pocket. The grand daddy of all shows is on the horizon, I wanna go. That's slave not master, I don't have enough money to take my own rig or fly in and send for the goods. Last minute as usual, I start working the phones. First my pal Lisa for the hotel room. I'm scrappy, but sleeping in the back of a truck when it's 30 at night? (you'd be surprised how many people actually do it) Every room within 50 miles is booked; Lisa graciously invites me to bunk.. in the tiny double bed...we're like sisters, we think nothing of this. Then there's hauling the bootie. Rick Klass, my dealer buddy from Saginaw is driving the big truck. Big truck, big gas tank, he's only too happy to haul my things plus those of my clients, I'm lookin' like a hero. Now the hard part, the ride in. I talk to everybody in a 100 mile radius, everyone is travelling with someone. I shamelessly beg to ride in the back of Brandon Nelson's van coming in from West Michigan Of course he travels an hour south of me, so I gotta meet him at I-75 and 80-90. He's like the nicest, easiest going guy, just don't be late. We roll into Tim Horton's like it's a professional heist. Slave yes, martyr no, that's me in a folding chair for a 12 hour ride. As soon we arrive and I return to a fully upright position, I book a massage for when I get home. I wake Lisa up at 9:30pm. We gotta 4am call, we can't shut up. It's gonna be a long day. The first group of shows opens at 6am, then over to the 9am shows, then the 11am and finally the 1pm. It's fast and furious and you are on foot. 5,000+ dealers on acres of field, all on a two lane country road. A million people on the shoulders, semis and cars, bikes and carts. It's a zoo. Rick loans me his bike...bonus!! I cover twice the ground. The shopping is killer, a million objects. I gotta good load by 2:30pm. I call in for reinforcements (honey, can you put more money in my account?) Then the pick up...NIGHTMARE...I got stuff in 10 locations, everything is giant and heavy...3 hours later.... feelin' the glamour? It's like an iron man event, I'm spent but on high. Despite all that hard work, I laugh and kibbitz all day. Ran into dealers I haven't seen in ages, everybody helps each other out...and oh the merchandise here...after 18 years it still blows my mind....gotta crash wait til I get pics of the goods uploaded!