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DD Tailgater 2009 Show Journal by Christian Willis.

October 3, 2009

After not being able to make the 1st annual show last year, we were definitely looking forward to attending this one. It was only one county away from where we lived, so it was nice not having to get up at the crack of dawn. We took our time and headed over to the show around 10AM.

Upon getting there, we pulled into the driveway and headed back behind some industrial buildings. Nestled in the back corner was this very pretty park, complete with a barbeque/picnic area, basketball and volleyball courts, walking paths and kitchen/bathrooms, all surrounded by huge shade trees. It was a great place for an outdoor show!

One of the first things I saw was Richard Dawson's van with dozens of boxes full of insulators. He was selling off all of his remaining insulators for $1 each! Of all the shows to get to early, this would have been a good one from what I was told, as Richard had already sold boxes full. Oh well. I still picked up a few neat pieces, including a CD 122.4 Hemingray E2, CD 239 Hemingray 830, and a CD 214 Hemingray 43 with a corrugated base, all for $1 each. Not too shabby! We got introduced to Richard's children and Maggi & Christian Jr. sat in Richard's van for while I went out on the prowl.

After having just obtained a CD 317.5 Chambers and an ice aqua SB Jeffrey Mine Insulator, I was definitely on a budget at this show. Even so, I still had to give in when I saw a couple of pieces that were over at Dwayne Anthony's table. The first piece was an ice aqua no name spool (closest to CD 1106), which matches the dimensions of the Hemingray No.6 spool; and another ice aqua piece that looked very familiar to me. I checked my reference photos to confirm: Roger Lucas had dug an identical piece at the Hemingray Dump a year earlier. It appears to be a bushing of some kind, and definitely looks like a Hemingray-made piece. Cool! I could already picture it sitting next to my Hemingray floor tubes.

Before I made the purchases, though, I wanted to check the dimensions first. Butch Haltman, as a gag, brought over the spool to Dwayne and said straight-faced that he sold it to me for about half of his asking price. Dwayne didn't go for it, go figure!

I bought a CD 113 Hemingray with the extra "MA" on the F-Skirt that Mark Merzoian had been holding for me, and pretty soon it was time for the barbeque. It was a nice spread, with hot dogs, hamburgers, chili, and lots of sides. We donated some money for the meal, and sat under the huge shade trees around the picnic area. We were dismayed to hear that the company that owns the property was planning to level the park and put up a building in its place! That would be a travesty, and I hope it doesn't happen.

After lunch we milled around some more, and I was supposed to be "just looking". With the purchases at Dwayne's table, I had already used up Maggi's Christmas gift to me, so I wasn't going to be getting any more insulators. Well of course, that never winds up being the case. Over at Robert Baumann's table was a neat CD 126.4 W.E.MFG.CO. in a "wannabe" cornflower blue. I ended up buying it, but not for the color; upon careful examination of the embossing, I saw the embossing error "W.E.MFG.OC." that matches the [070] embossing recently added to the newest price guide. However, this specimen has "J" embossed on the R-Skirt, making this embossing unlisted. Looks like this one was Maggi's anniversary gift to me!

A little bit later it was time for the raffle. We didn't win this time, but there were plenty of items to be raffled off! Afterwards, people started gradually packing up, and I decided to head back over to Richard's tables for one last look. I had $5 cash left on me, so I decided to made his trip home lighter by 5 more insulators. I bought a few Australian pieces, an Italian piece, and a Portuguese piece. Instant foreign class collection! By 4:30 pretty much everyone had headed out. Dwayne, Dave LeForge and we were the only ones left. I helped "D&D" clean up and pack up Dwayne's car, and then we followed him back to his house to visit for a little while.

It was total déjà vu getting to see his collection again (the first time was back in 2000) and it was just as impressive, if not more so now that I'm a little more knowledgeable. We "talked shop" for a while and then we all headed out to his back yard to see Jeronimo, his giant desert tortoise. From the sounds of it, Jeronimo is the largest known desert tortoise, and I have to say he is huge! Dwayne also got his cockatiel to wave at us again, and I found out that the large cactus in his back yard he's had since childhood. Very cool!

Afterwards, we drove to the local Applebee's and Dwayne & Ofelia treated us to a very nice dinner. We had such a nice time! This was a great show and I hope it continues on for years.

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