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Tulare 2008 Personal Show Journal by Christian Willis, Nov. 7-8, 2008.

Hard to believe it had been three years since I attended the last Tulare show! In 2006 I was saving up my PTO to visit Maggi in Colorado, and in 2007 there was no show due to an oversight on the memorial hall being double-booked.

Maggi and I left the apartment around 5AM. We stopped at McDonald’s for breakfast along the way up, and made it to the show hall around 9AM. We hit some rush-hour traffic through L.A., but overall the drive was fairly painless.

There was a fair turnout despite a few collectors missing. Dave Brown was unable to make it due to health reasons, Larry & Alice Shumaker were notably absent, and Pat Patocka’s recent passing was saddening. However, it was good to see Dave Hall for the first time in several years, and most of the other regulars were there as well.

Hemingrays were fairly slim at this show, so I focused on filling in a few embossings. One particular piece I couldn’t pass up. It was a CD 241.2 Hemingray – 24 with only a single small chip on the skirt. It was a definite upgrade to my other ones. And for only $100 how could I say no? That was my best piece from the show.  I also got a CD 124.3 A mold with MLOB in an unlisted light green.

In the mid afternoon Bud and Nancy arrived at the show, and we walked around and talked. Around 5 we left the show, checked in to the Day’s Inn behind Apple Annie’s, and then walked over to the restaurant for dinner. I had the Cobb salad, and brought back a piece of apple pie and a glass of milk to the hotel room afterwards.

In the morning we drove over to the Black Bear Cafe for breakfast before heading over to the show. I had my usual linguica and eggs with a biscuit and gravy. It was delicious! Back at the show I mostly just talked to the other collectors, and picked up a CD 1140 johnny ball from Don Bayes, which appeared to be a Hemi product. (I compared its size and weight to Hemingray catalog specs and it matched.)

Around noon my dad and Nancy took off, and we hung around for awhile longer. I took Maggi on a “tour” of the memorial building, going up to the balcony. Unfortunately, all the doors were locked. We also went up onto the stage to look around behind the curtains. It’s a very cool stage! It had the big smoke doors up in the ceiling in case of a fire onstage. There were also plugs in the floor for stage lighting (early 2-pin stage pin before they added the 3rd pin for ground, which I had never seen before). On stage right were the lighting controls, with a big switch board for the footlights and rheostats for other stage lights. There was also a switch labeled attic lights, and a ladder leading up to the attic over the stage. I was really REALLY tempted to go up there. If I was all alone I would have. But as it was easily 30 feet over the stage and there were lots of people still in the show hall, I decided not to. Maybe someday, I hope! One of the doors on stage right was also unlocked and led to a small dressing room that was being used for storage, and an even smaller bathroom.

Around one o’clock we said our goodbyes and headed to the nearest Sonic Drive-In in Tulare to try out their drinks. I had a cherry limeade and Maggi had a fruit smoothie. They sure were good! I wish they had Sonics down in Orange County. After we filled up on gas, we headed back down south and made it home around 6. We had a fun time! Hopefully the Tulare show will keep going for many years to come.

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