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Tulare 1997 Personal Show Journal by Christian Willis.

This journal was written on Saturday, November 8, 1997.

This is the first Tulare show I have attended, and I like it better than the Bakersfield show, because the hall is smaller, making it almost more personal and friendly. Although a lot of bottle collectors took up the show, there were a lot of insulator dealers there too. Among the people who abandoned Bakersfield were the Heitkotters, the Anthonys, the Shumakers, the Padgetts, the Nortons, Dave Hall, and others. Basically, the whole Bakersfield group had moved to Tulare to avoid the $50 charge for a table. It only costs them $22.50 for a table at the Tulare show. This show also has more glass than Bakersfield had. I’m glad we found out about this show, because it was much better than Bakersfield.

We arrived at the hall in Tulare on Friday night at 7:10. The show was over at 7:00. We missed everyone, so we headed up to Goshen to spend the night at the KOA there. In the morning, we went back down to Tulare and made it there about 20 minutes before opening time, 9:00. They let us in anyway. The first person we saw was Fred Padgett. I gave him the McL I had promised him, and fortunately, he didn’t have one in such a bright color! I’m glad he was able to use it in his collection, since he has contributed so much to my collection! Anyway, I headed over to the Shumakers’ table, and, lo and behold, Larry had three embossing errors waiting he had saved for me! They included: a CD 121 [030] "Hemigray"; a CD 147 Hemingray screw top with the backwards "E" in the last part of "Patented" (this is so far the only one I have ever seen at a show); and a new embossing he had picked up– a CD 106 Hemingray Nº9 with an "H" in front of "Patent" on the rear skirt, making it look like "H Patent". Apparently they had started to use or emboss that mold to say "Hemingray" but instead used it for the patent date, and left the first letter of "Hemingray" just hanging there. He had shown this piece to the McDougalds at the New Mexico show, so they confirmed that it was a new embossing. Also on his table, I noticed an unusual difference in a CD 190/191 Am. Tel. & Tel. Co. tramp he had: the top was the small and older embossing, but the bottom was what I was looking at, for instead of the characteristic "never miss a period or punctuation" typical Hemingray-style embossing, this one was missing ALL of the periods, AND it had no crossbar in the "A", making it look like an upside-down "V"! I had to buy it, since it wasn’t listed.

As soon as I got through buying those four great finds, I found a FIFTH great find on his table: a Hemingray 107 spool in HEMINGRAY BLUE! Before now, I never knew that style existed in that color. I guess I know now. I picked that piece up for a small $5.

I made a trip to the camper, being laden with insulators. When I arrived back, who did I see? Woofer! Woofer Heitkotter, Bill’s dog. They had brouht him along. I moseyed on over to Dwayne’s table, and much to my surprise, he had Danger signs under his table! I picked up a nice one that said, "Danger / No Admittance / Without Permission / Southern California Edison Company." I paid $25 for it, and it’s hanging over my door as I write this journal now.

Well, one of the first insulators that caught my eye in the show was a practically mint Dark Purple Hemingray-12 Dwayne had on his table. It was marked $95. I wanted it soooo badly, but I knew if I bought it then I would blow practically all my money. I didn’t get it. Before I knew it, Jim had arrived, and we did our traditional walking and talking, when I mentioned that Dwayne had that dark purple Nº12. Well, Jim went out to his car and got HIS purple Nº12 he had bought last year at the Long Beach National (which I mentioned in that journal), and he compared colors: it was comparably darker than his. I thought for sure he’d buy it, and I was a little disappointed, but I was prepared to buy his lighter one off of him. It turns out I didn’t need to, because he didn’t buy it. He told me he was short on money. I then decided to get it. I asked him if I could, feeling sort of guilty about doing it, but he said it was all right. I bought it. Dwayne gave it to me for $90. I’m glad I bought it, for as it turned out, Dwayne told me later, another person was looking at it earlier, and when he went back to get it, I had already bought it. Another man had also had his eye on it, and was just about to get it when I went over and picked it up. I know that feeling all too well: you’re standing there, debating whether or not to get that insulator over there, and then to your horror someone else walks over and picks it up, and buys it. "He who hesitates is lost." Ain’t it the truth!

Also at the show, I picked up three 45 records: "Birds and the Bees" by Jewel Akens, "The Battle of Kookamonga" by Homer and Jethro, and "Lonesome Road" by Tab Hunter, each costing me 10¢.

Dwayne also had some other nice pieces on his table, including a Brook’s Blue CD 133.1 Pat App For., A fairly tough piece in that color. He had $38 marked on it, more than I had with me after buying that Nº12. I only had $30. Well, I figured I’d walk out of an insulator show for the first time with money still in my pockets. That just didn’t work out. The beautiful Brooke’s Blue glass got the better of me, and so, after borrowing $5 from my dad, gave Dwayne $35 for it. I’m glad I did, because I was told afterwards by another collector that that’s a tough piece in that color. Good! [Note: I had purchased the piece because at the time I thought it was a Hemingray product. As it turns out, it's not.] It was nearing the end of the show, so I just sat around and talked and recorded my buys. When 4:00 rolled around, we headed home. It was definately a great show!

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