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2004 Merzoian Tailgater Show Journal by Christian Willis.

This journal was written on September 18, 2004.

The 3rd annual Merzoian Tailgater, and the second one my father and I have attended, turned out to be another memorable show. I was out the door at 4:30am Saturday morning, and stopped down at the Circle K for hot chocolate for old times' sake. The drive up to Porterville was pretty smooth, and I made it up to the Merzoian's ranch at about 7:50am. Would have made it sooner, had I not driven past their ranch by several miles after failing to see the "insulator sign" where I was expecting it.

My dad drove over from Cayucos and met me at the show around 9.

I came to this show with $20 in my pocket for “just in case” purchases, but I wasn’t planning on buying anything at this show. Why? Because Dwayne Anthony was holding 5 special Hemi pieces for me under his table: a CD 24 National Battery Co., CD 24 U.S. Light & Heating Co., CD 124 Dec. Pat., CD 142.4 No Embossing with insert, and a CD 1052 St. Louis Malleable dump piece in amber with an unpunched hole. All of these pieces were perfect candidates for my next Hemingray display, which will feature all insulators manufactured by Hemingray that aren’t actually embossed “Hemingray”.

All five of the pieces came directly from the Milholland collection, and Dwayne had several more drool-inducing pieces on his table as well, which I may have to revisit at Tulare! Well, that was it, I was happy. I didn’t need (and couldn’t afford) any more insulators at this show. But of course that notion didn’t last very long. I soon found myself picking up several $1 and $2 Hemingrays, including a new CD 113 embossing (the “N” in “MADE IN U.S.A.” is embossed over a sideways “N”), a great ice aqua CD 151 in VVNM for $2, and the tall square wire groove variant of the CD 214.

Now the CD 214 variant was a special find, because only just a week before had I found out about the square wire groove variants, and was also fortunately to come across the SHORT square wire groove variant online. So now I had both variants, which of course made me even happier.

And then, to top things off, Mike Guthrie was unpacking his insulators, and out came a CD 133 Dec. Pat., another sleeper which has long been on my wanted list. I whipped out my checkbook and it was mine. I now had 6 additions to my upcoming display!

They had some extra space at the end of the flatbed trailer at the end of the pole barn, so I set out my few insulators that I had brought for sale just in case. Bruce Tooley ended up picking up a Lynchburg I had. I had $3 on it, but he only had $1 and some change, so I was happy to take that!

Lunch rolled around, and it was every bit as good as last time. Bob Merzoian’s famous beans, plus roast pork and turkey, salad, and homemade ice cream for dessert. Afterwards we had the raffle, and then had a short awards ceremony of sorts, in which the Merzoians put up a plaque with my dad and my name on it under the crossarm on their pole barn which I had donated four insulators to last year.

Also of note was my dad trading me my digital camera for his iBook laptop. So the iBook, which I keep my collection records and all of my show journals on, is now officially mine! A great ending to a great show!

Bud & Christian stand beside their new plaque!

This Pole Claimed by Bud & Christian Willis, 7/6/03

Bud & Christian

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