costa's hummer

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

End of the line

Tired, tattered, frayed. I think that after three out of the last four weeks on the road doing shows, I can safely roll out all the metaphors. Rode hard, put away wet. Fighting the bronchial thing since new year's, almost done with the antibiotics, the body hurts in so many places it would be easier figuring out what doesn't hurt. Shot didn't seem to help the heel very much, I am a walking disaster.

I drove back from San Francisco yesterday and it was a crapshoot to see if I could get home. The car is in even sadder shape than its owner. Broken motor mount, broken manifold stud and resultant exhaust leak, blown a.c. motor and a few days ago it developed a pretty horrific grinding sound. Having a van loaded with some pretty valuable material, I tried to nurse it home. I thought that maybe I was biting into my brake rotors pretty good. It had been hard getting down the grapevine on the way up, so I took 101 on the way down.

Around Corona things got white knuckle horrific. I called a dude I know with a warehouse and he offered to let me crash inside but I tried to see if I could make it. Cars were flashing their brights at me, think I was throwing sparks. I didn't know if the engine had dropped. Whole thing was dicy but I didn't want to hole up in Corona and I was praying to the god of your choice to get me home where a cat needed feeding, on account of a wife doing her own show in Las Vegas. And I finally did. People only see the glamour...


The show was marked by a few horrible events. There were three major thefts on the floor. A good friend of mine had over 70k in victorian gold chains stolen from his locked case, after hours when security was supposed to be patrolling the room. Another dealer lost a purse full of money from a locked case also after hours. The second night another jewelry dealer lost over 75k in material.

What made it doubly disappointing was that the promotor never addressed the issue with her dealers. No memo, no dealer meeting, many of the dealers were totally unaware of the circumstances or the theft. Rumors spread quickly and many people are casting their suspicions at the security guards themselves. I do not know. I do know that if they can not provide us with a safe haven for our merchandise, many exhibitors, some of them longtime dealers, will drop the show. There were no cops on the floor this show, a usual occurrence, unless they were writing up police reports. The promotor actually told my friend Dan, who lost the 70k, not to tell anybody, something I don't understand at all. I think that they had a legal and ethical obligation to tell people that their merchandise was in jeopardy. We got nothing. And the victims of the thefts got neither a promised meeting or any semblance of an apology from management.

Unfortunately the current promoter tends to turtle when faced with adversity and take an extremely defensive position. I don't know how things will shake out, but something has to be fixed if they want to continue to have dealers. Period.


One of the cool things about my business are the specialist dealers. Confectionary molds, beer steins, political buttons, bakelite, people spend a lifetime collecting their thing.

 One lady was happy to leave the show with her new pet skunk, derriere pointed due north.

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