I am just back from the Show of Shows in Louisville, Kentucky, and thought I would share a few thoughts before they fade.
This was probably my 12th or 13th Show of Shows and without hesitation, will say it was the best one in my experience. The Ohio Valley Military Society (OVMS) has ironed out a few more wrinkles with each passing year, and this year seems to have been just a bit smoother than years gone by.
Once again, despite saying “Never again!” I was Yellow Team leader for table set-up on Wednesday. With a little preparation, and a minimum of yelling at the top of my lungs, it went well. Yellow Team, for the third year running, finished first and without errors. I have to compliment the men and women who throw the tables. The sound is deafening and the rewards seem minimal, but they stick it out, all in the hopes of bringing in their wares early at 5:00PM.
By Thursday afternoon, the hall was filled with more than 1,600 tables of militaria. Covering for a friend who was sick and unable to man his tables, I was pretty much strapped in place and never really got to shop. No matter, I had many pre-arranged deals, so just had to make deliveries of money.
On a run to the restroom, though, I spotted a very nice Tank Corps trench art match safe. That bathroom break cost me $200, but I added a nice piece to the collection!
Saturday was the best SOS Saturday that I have experienced and all credit goes to the OVMS President and Board. They announced that beginning next year, any dealer that tears down before 3:00 PM on Saturday runs the risk of losing his tables for the following year. They began handing out warnings this year. Bolstered by a huge waiting list for tables, the new rule had impact—I have never seen the show so active on a late Saturday afternoon!
I honestly can’t comment too much on trends, as I didn’t see much other than the tables I was servicing. However, it seems that European and Russian attendance was lighter this year, but those that did come bought very aggressively.
Like any show, there are a myriad of mini-dramas at the OVMS, but again, kudos to the President and the Board for keeping them low-key and without impact on the overall success of the show.
Oh, and a final, important note ... I have been cutting back on BBQ these days and trying to eat a bit healthier. So, no Louisville BBQ report for this year. However, thanks to my buddies John and Carrie, I discovered a great pizza place that delivers to the motels around the expo center: Bearno’s. One of the best pizza-carnivorous that I have had—a new SOS favorite in my book!
Happy Buena Vista Day, everyone. 163 years ago, 4,500 American soldiers (mostly volunteers) cleared the field of 20,000 attacking Mexicans. Hail Columbia!
Editor, MT and MVM