June 26, 2014

Members, Exhibitors, Friends,

What a day, Wednesday, middle of the week and light rain when Cathy and I arrived at our gun shop on North Main Street in Mechanicville around noon. This same similar pattern that has plagued our spring Gun Shows; bad weather during the week and beautiful, sunny days on the weekends. That pattern has kept folks indoors until Saturday and Sunday when they escape to their yard chores or outdoor events; unfortunately, not going inside to our shows.

But today was even more extreme! After a little business, Cathy left for home to get involved with computer work and member renewal mailing; yes, if your NEACA Membership is up on July first, you will be getting that reminder. I got busy cleaning some new acquisitions. Raining quite a bit harder now, about 2 PM.

While listening to WGY talk radio an announcement came in about a water main break on North Main Street in Mechanicville and all traffic was stopped on Routes 4 & 32. Now that was unfortunate because all traffic is already stopped on the parallel route through the city, Central Avenue, because of a bridge renovation due to last to November. It was going to be a little difficult getting through our city.

With that radio notice I went to my front door and couldn’t see across Main Street, it was pouring rain. I also saw trucks of all type digging up the pavement in front of City Hall, right next to my shop. The water main break was right there and the road was a gushing muddy stream. Checking my watch I knew Cathy was supposed to be picking me up around 6 PM, it was close enough to call and inform her of the problems and how she might get to the shop through the road closings. No answer; not at home or on her cell. Where and why no answer?

The road work continued as did the rain and at 6:45 I still couldn’t raise Cathy. I figured I had better check the 4th floor and my old roof for leaks with this deluge of water. Luckily, I have an elevator. Found a little water on 4 ½ and cleaned it up, placed a bucket and dropped down to the basement. There I found water seeping in from the front sidewalk where the water main break was and proceeded to mop that up. I then called my daughter, Denise, to see if she knew where Mom was, now about 7:15.

Denise screamed, "You’re at the shop? The City has declared a state of emergency and no one can get in or out, traffic has stopped." OK, explains where Cathy is; later telling me she also didn’t take her cell phone to pick me up. Cathy rode around trying to get to me and was diverted all over the place – I’d have given them some diversion! I went back to check the basement – more water.

Moral of the story, Mechanicville has a State of Emergency declared until sometime tomorrow, has shut off all water to its residents; issued a boil water declaration (which there is none); has kept any resident from going home and can’t give a time line as to when they can go home or of the traffic through the City resuming! (See Photo Below)

I finally got some help cleaning up from family who walked down in the rain and we all walked out, trucks still busy, light rain still falling, around 8:30 in the evening. We were all wet and tired. Oh yeah, at home of course the sump pump was overwhelmed and I had to take care of that problem. As I began, I end with … what a day!

But now it is morning, Thursday, little drizzle, emergency still in effect until 10 AM but the city has asked that we travel only if necessary. Traffic in front of my home is quite busy going south into the city. I expect two deliveries today, I’ll check on the shop a little later. Weather, of course, is supposed to be nice ….this weekend!

So, guys and girls, when we were all just sitting around these past weekends at the gun shows around the northeast, now you know why. People had things to do during the crappy mid-week weather and escaped to the sun for the gorgeous weekends. As I like to observe; that’s the way it is. Live with it and take it all in stride, the pattern will change when we all go on a little vacation ; .…you know damn well it will be raining Saturday and Sunday!

Our next NEACA Arms Fair and Sportsmen’s Expo will be in the city of Watertown, NY July 26 & 27, another first for us and a very nice facility where we can place around 250 eight foot tables. We have invited all Military personnel in uniform and with a current ID to come to our show Free of Charge … and there are 15,000 of them stationed a few miles north at Ford Drum. We will start all of our advertising along with discount Post Cards beginning this next week, throughout the North Country; we want this show to be great! And well it should be; where tourists, Military and gun lovers abound this time of year. Flyer enclosed, be there.

The following weekend of August 2 & 3 we have our very popular show in Old Forge at the Hiltebrant Recreation Center, very near Water Slide World, a major north-country attraction. Speaking of vacations, a nice time would be between Watertown and Old Forge; plenty to do and see during the week. We can arrange for RV’s or campers at either location plus there are plenty of camp grounds in the area. Flyer is also enclosed; please make all your motel reservations early. Check our Gun Show Page on our website at NEACA.com for any updated information.

Now take a couple weeks off and see us again in Saratoga Springs, NY, August 23, 24; always "the place to be," especially in August when the thoroughbreds are racing and 50,000 fans come into the city for the Travers Stakes on Saturday afternoon. Yes, it is busy and expensive and most always rewarding for our dealers. But, remember this my friends, we can set these shows up, do our best at advertising to get the folks to the show but we still can’t make them buy from you. That is your sole job, selling, and of course picking what the folks want to buy, and we do try to help by giving away money as door prizes to spend at the show. But, it seems that some exhibitors always do good or at least make a profit, while some other dealers always just complain. Perhaps attitude is a factor … maybe I should try harder.

Another mention, if I may, these are your shows as well as ours. You should be taking our flyers and postcards to other shows and events, promoting where you will be and seeking new exhibitors who will contribute to making our shows more attractive to our attendees. One of the reasons I fill my own tables is to show fine and unusual merchandise for public viewing. It is a lot of work, I would rather have just one table and simply be able to visit; get me more fine exhibitors and I’ll leave my guns at home.

But as a promoter, I am promoting for the overall look and even the esthetics of our shows. I want the fullest show and best face I can put forth for our Gun Shows. So, ask me about flyers and let me know if there are other places to advertise, of course, bear in mind that no one reads a newspaper, listens to a radio or watches the TV news anymore. It is not as easy as simply placing an ad and paying out the money.

Bringing us all back now to the Labor Day weekend and the Newburgh Ice Time Arena where we began our Spring Fling in May. On August 30 & 31 we will again be among a population of over ten million people. If only 10% are interested in guns and related collectibles that’s still a million or more possible show attendees for our weekend event. And now we have a track record of four months notice instead of about only four weeks before our first show in Newburgh. Most of our dealers have already told me they are coming back and new ones are inquiring so our 175 tables should reach our 225 table capacity for this show. Flyer enclosed, send it in.

Sincerely, Cathy & Dave

This is River Road,  across the Hudson River from Mechanicville in Rensselaer County