Bad weather may take toll on local antique shows
As I write this column early on a Tuesday morning, I am looking out of my picture window that faces south at some old mounds of snow plus about an inch of new snow that fell last night.
Because of snow and possible road conditions, I did not attend two recent antique shows in the area: A Touch of Class in Normal and the Last Sunday Antique Show in Bloomington.
This weekend is one of the busiest in East Central Illinois with the four promotions in Amish land and the Farmer City show, and the prediction of bad weather looms as a problem for both dealers and customers.
Just as an example, take the primitive show at Arcola's new motel just off Interstate 57. Last year, of its almost 30 dealers, two were from Illinois. Now consider the projected weather for this coming weekend and think of those dealers who are coming to Illinois from other states, especially the eastern states.
I recently talked to Billy Harmon, who works for FedEx and drives numerous routes in the area.
I said to him, "The weather and driving conditions must have been a real problem for you this winter."
"Not as much as you may think," he said. "Most of the bad weather for driving occurred on Sundays and Mondays, days that we do not work, so it has not hurt my business as much as you may think."
If an antique store is going to be closed, it is usually on Sunday and Monday — and there are hardly any shows on Mondays.
But Sundays are a big day for antique shows. The Gordyville show just west of Gifford, which has its show the first Saturday and Sunday in December, has had snow eight out of nine years — at that time of the year, you take your chances.
The last weekend in February and the first weekend of March we do not really think of as bad weather weekends. I really think of dealers on weekends like this and the chances the promoters take in holding an event in what is still considered winter.
And at age 82, I do not drive as well as I used to. I have already missed two good shows this year, so I hope Harmon is right and the bad roads hold off until Monday.
Bob Swisher has been a collector since he was a child. Questions or comments can be sent to Swisher by writing to The News-Gazette, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-677 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.