I arrived in Florida on Wednesday instead of Thursday because a good friend of mine from home coincidentally was going to be in Florida at the same time. We wanted to play a round of golf, but the only way that could happen was if we played on Thursday as I had work to do on Friday, and he was leaving Saturday.
When I landed in Orlando around 5PM that day, it was raining. I was fairly surprised as I had only landed in Florida in a steady rain one other time. As a matter of fact that was the very first time that I had gone to Florida on business some eight or nine years ago. I remember that rain as it was coming down in buckets, and just kept coming.
I was a little concerned, but not overly until I talked to the friendly girl at the car rental. Just as I was leaving she added.
"Oh, by the way. It's going to get windy and rainy tonight. Don't let it concern you. You really don't have to worry, it's not a hurricane."
I was tired from the trip, and just wanted to get to my motel in Cocoa Beach, so I quickly got to my car and scurried over to the coast in the rain.
As soon as I got into my room I turned on the Weather Channel. It didn't take long to determine that there would be a rain out the next day.
I had thought that horrible storm called Mitch had crossed over Honduras, and withered away to nothing by now. Not the case. Mitch was headed directly toward Florida. Wouldn't you know?? It wasn't a hurricane anymore, but a tropical storm. There was no doubt there would be no golf tomorrow with Ed. But I guess that was a better situation than what happened in Central America. What a shame. What a terrible storm.
The wind howled loudly outside my room that night. It sounded like the window was going to blow in. I hate trying to sleep with a heavy wind for some reason, and didn't get the best sleep that night.
[Come to think of it I was in Florida four times this year. The first time on vacation with the family in February when a tornado missed our motel in the middle of the night by a mile or so. The second time in June I was driving along minding my own business when a bolt of lightning came down and started a fire just off the road. The third time was August. Need I say more? It was hot!!! And now this. What is going on in Florida this year anyway? Well, we'll see what happens in January when I return. I'll bet it won't be a snow blizzard!!]
This stupid hurricane had changed my plans for the worse I had thought at the time. Originally I was going to leave for West Palm Beach early Friday morning and purchase both collections on the same day. I am thankful at this time that didn't materialize. I would have never finished.
I purchased the American Flyer collection first on Thursday night. What a super collection. Some very nice items indeed. It was a breeze. The collection was organized, there were plenty of boxes and packing materials. I was in and out within 3 hours. Although I could just barely fit in my full sized car. The nine fairly large boxes had to be packed perfectly to get them all in the car.
I was pretty confident that the next collection would be fairly easy. So much so that I called Ed in Orlando, and asked him if he wanted to do 9 holes the next afternoon, as I thought I'd be able to get back by 3PM. Thank goodness Ed had something going.
The next morning bright and early I arrived to inspect ‘Nathan's' collection. I was in for a surprise! Now I am not complaining to much, because well let's face it I was in Florida, and had the opportunity to travel and actually make money while doing it. But that collection was the worst situation that I had ever faced in all the buying trips that I have taken.
The collection wasn't exactly organized. It took me over two hours of inspection to determine an exact retail value. After agreeing on a price and making payment, we had to run to the nearest U-haul to buy boxes and packing supplies. Then finally I got started packing. And packing. And packing..... Well you get the idea.
I didn't think I would ever get done packing that collection. Part of the problem was that there were so many accessories, and they are hard to pack. The other problem was that I was running out of packing material. I was just about to go door to door in this exclusive neighborhood. But we found the packing paper that had accidentally been kept in the trunk of the car.
I actually became ill in the middle of packing the collection. (One to many beers the night before I think.) But after getting a little something to eat, I felt better.
Finally nine hours after arriving I pulled out of the driveway to make my way back up the coast. And then I got lost in Melbourne somehow. What a way to cap a terrible day! But two great collections!
It's a tough life being a train dealer I tell you. Yea sure. I love what I do no matter how much of a pain it can be sometimes!!!
I did get to go golfing Saturday and Sunday. And the weather was gorgeous! As a matter of fact I met a group of guys that golf at the Cocoa Beach Country Club every Sunday. They told me to call them whenever I come down, and I can golf with them. Yet another group of golf buddies. Thank goodness for golf to keep my sanity.
But I am injured probably for a while. You might remember me mentioning my tendinitis before. Well it got so bad that every time I hit the ball correctly it hurts like hell and I yell foul things. Well my Golf Club up here in Erie banned me from golfing until I get the thing fixed, just because they don't like the words I was yelling. I mean, have you ever??? They said something about women and kids do live within two miles of the golf course, and that was how far my voice was traveling. Well, it really did hurt! Towards the end though I hardly ever yelled, because my inner mind wouldn't let me swing correctly knowing it would hurt. So my game went to hell, and I said it wasn't worth it anymore. So I started running again. I belong to this gym where I can run inside. I'm going to have to watch it, because sometimes my old knee twists and hurts forcing me to yell foul things.. So far it has only happened outside. I hope it doesn't happen inside! That might not be good!!
On a more serious note, both collections are now in on our database (which is updated daily), and in our text lists (that are updated on the 8th and 22nd. So look them over carefully. Some really nice Lionel and American Flyer items are up for grabs.
And finally I get these two collections done and the phone rings. Seems there is a large Lionel collection in Rochester for sale. So Tuesday I head for Rochester to purchase yet another Collection. This one will be in the computer as soon as possible. I'll probably start working on it Thanksgiving weekend.
We are trying something new in offering Gift Certificates. Possibly in the future they will be available to order on-line, but for now we ask you to call us and order them. They are available in any denomination. These should be great for people who don't exactly know what to buy that special person. Give us a call at (814) 833-8313.
Thanks for the bashing success of our new e-mail list. I can't believe all the people who have signed up for specials and announcements. If you haven't already, please click here and check it out!
I feel really bad. Although I hadn't promised, I had indicated to my Buffalo Bill's fan Son John that maybe we would go to the game this Sunday in Buffalo. Today was so busy in the store (I was there most of the day alone), that I fell behind. I had planned on having the American Flyer collection finished by noon. I finished by closing! So the little guy will have to wait yet another week to see those Flutie guys. Yea real little. At 14 years old John is 3 inches taller than his Dad. Don't worry John, we'll get to one of those Bills games one of these days. And that's not a promise!!!
Well, there is only one last thing to do. And that is to wish you a very, very meaningful and happy Thanksgiving.
I'm just thankful that I'm not a Turkey. (OK, maybe I am, but not the poultry type!)