Friday, December 2, 2011

Another Anniversary

I've shown this picture here before:

This was taken on December 2, 1989, exactly 22 years ago. That's me behind the table at a card show, selling what were essentially my own dupes in exchange for money. I took much of that cash and spent it on the tables around me to enhance my own collection. That was the very first show they held in the small Upstate New York town where I grew up; there were several others through 1992 or '93 and I set up at several. I always made back my table money, but most of my profits were sunk right back into the pockets of other dealers.

Doing those shows, I realized that it would be really difficult to be a collector and a successful dealer at the same time. I'm not going to say it's impossible...but it definitely is a tough balance to maintain. This past year, I helped at a seller's table during The National in Chicago. It was the first time I'd been on the other side of the table since those early '90s shows. I remembered a lot of the lessons of my young entrepreneurship, but I also remembered the part about it being difficult to balance a collection with a business. I hope to be behind Irv Lerner's table again in Baltimore next year.

One other thing I see in the picture above is what is gone. That six-pack physique that is under the sweater resembles a case now. The hairline has receded like the value of Mark McGwire's rookie card. Even the finger touching the glass is partially missing, thanks to an on-the-job mishap that included a dog that didn't particularly care for me.

This picture appeared in the weekly paper of my hometown, which I reprinted on my Website. In it, you'll see other reason this particular day was special to me. It was also my 17th birthday.


  1. Happy Birthday or Aniversary of your birthday - whichever you prefer to celebrate.