February 17, 2017

NEACA Members and Exhibitors,

What a year 2016 has been for Cathy and me which in turn, reflects on why I haven’t written this letter in quite some time. I hope its content makes up for its tardiness. I am sure most of you know Cathy went through the agony of chemo and radiation for uterine cancer; one year ago today, was her initial surgery. It is now clear from her body and we are both very grateful for that and for your letters, cards, calls and comments in wishing her a speedy recovery, complete healing and prayers of its riddance forever.

Cancer affects the whole family, not only the one it possesses. First there is the trauma of diagnosis, then the worry of surgery, the extended treatments and Doctor’s visits, then hopefully the cure and finally years of follow-up tests while watching for results of no return. A long, arduous process I hope no one has to ever face alone. But things are getting better now, the recovery is fine and Cathy is cancer free. I can finally have her back on the job!

And her first job back in action was working the door at our Fishkill Gun Show at the Ramada Inn 2 weeks ago. It was a pretty good show even on Super Bowl weekend; and that was some game! We plan on keeping this show going and are checking for future dates. Our first show of this year was at the Polish Community Center in Albany, NY on January 14 & 15 and that was a real winner, lots of customers and lots of sales. Our next one at the PCC is March 24, 25, 26 and we have our flyer enclosed. Without our Saratoga City Center Shows, normally we had one the third weekend in March, this Albany Show should be packed with dealers and attendees. Send your app in now.

As you know, politics in Saratoga Springs won out for a while and we have scrambled to try to make up for the loss of the City Center Arms Fairs with shows in other locations. I know a lot of exhibitors have lost a lot of money by not having Saratoga, NEACA and us included. There is hope that we will return on a regular basis but for certain we will have our next City Center Arms Fair this Memorial Day weekend, May 26, 27, 28; the flier is included. This will be a great show and probably sold out early; table assignments will be awarded May 5th, send completed applications in ASAP. We also want to make this a tribute to our fighting men and women from all wars and conflicts and are seeking re-enactors to man their recruitment, display or memorial booths. Cathy and I will supply free space for any group who wishes to help us memorialize the day. We have several commitments already, including opening the show by the US Marine Corps Color Guard honoring our fallen heroes. I would love to have a bagpiper also at this time.

I recently purchased a restored 1943 Willy’s Jeep and hope to have that on display and several re-enactors with WWII equipment. I will also work to present a WWI display from my own collection. I urge all NEACA Members to order a display table and present a memorial to our Nation’s historic past or a tribute to the greatest combatants the world has ever known. Also, for all to take a sale table to support this next City Center Arms Fair and continue the longevity of our show over these past 33 years. Let us honor this weekend by showing the attendees a complete array of militaria, equipment and armament used by all of our fighting forces from earliest times to today! This will be our 104th Saratoga Springs Arms Fair and we must all support NY State Senator Kathy Marchione for her tremendous help getting the return of this Show to the City Center. She is a constant winner in the eyes of NEACA management and its Members. And, of course, she will be there in May! Thank you, Kathy! Anyone for a Parade on Saturday evening?

We will keep working on shows at Saratoga Springs City Center but are also checking the reality of the fact that they have a complete and very busy yearly schedule of conferences and conventions, the reason for their existence. We would love to have four shows a year there again but the reality is that trade shows are there to fill in the holes – but those holes have been disappearing. However, I will still state my disappointment in that NEACA hasn’t taken priority over other events, which have succeeded in their bookings. I know a lot of you, members and non-members alike, have severely curtailed any visits to the City because of the loss of our show. Let us all reverse that practice this Memorial Day weekend and make the attendance at this next show one the City and its demonstrators will not easily forget; and one where the businesses will see their own loss when thousands of pro-gun, pro-Second Amendment supporters converge to support our show and our history. Numbers, just like elections, have consequences.

But before this great Memorial Day event in Saratoga we have other shows coming up and one which is doing very well, and also as a new competitor to Saratoga, is Manchester Center, Vermont at the Riley Rink. We can actually get more tables at this venue and the food service is much better as well as the parking! Our flier is enclosed, mark your calendar for April 28, 29 30 and send in your application early. The real similarity to Saratoga is the shopping areas, the attractions and the high hotel rates! It took a long while to make our City Center Arms Fair into one of the finest of area shows and we still need to build our Riley Rink show to over 200 tables but we are succeeding at a faster pace than expected. We will also be there on July 14, 15, 16 and October 6, 7, 8, Columbus Day weekend. And did I mention there is no Vermont Safe-Act. Individual transfers are just $15.00. Come see us in Vermont!

We are also preparing for another show in Rutland, Vermont but at the Fairgrounds instead of the Holiday Inn and we have it scheduled on June 23, 24, 25. More details will be forthcoming in my next letter but mark the dates and plan on attending – it will be another large event. I told you we are expanding, so join NEACA today at NEACA.com!

Before I run out of space, our flier is enclosed for Newburgh at the Icetime Arena, same time periods in May and August as has been for these past few years; May 19, 20, 21 and August 25, 26, 27. Please support this show and send in a one table deposit with your application. Venue price keeps going up and tables at these time periods need to be ordered early, so let me know ASAP – plus make your hotel reservations early; we are always trying to work deals so you can easily cancel and change. Again, Norwich at the Fairgrounds on June 2, 3, 4; Saugerties at the Kiwanis Ice Arena, June 9, 10, 11; Old Forge at the Recreation Center on August 4, 5, 6 and also keep August 18, 19, 20 open.

We have lots of other venues who have called us and asked that we bring our Arms Fairs to their areas; we have a lot of work yet to do. Our fall and winter schedule is still being worked on, some new things and some familiar; still checking PCC and Fishkill dates, possibly Watertown, looking at other Vermont venues and also perhaps revisiting some older shows of many years ago. NEACA needs to produce at least fifteen events per year so we can afford to have someone work for us or with us; we ain’t getting any younger! We had years in which we produced 37 shows - 1997 seems so long ago - and full of piss and vinegar; some might say I’m full of that yet, and then some.

You all can help us by promoting our shows to other dealers, we do need new exhibitors, too many of ours have gone forever or are just wearing out, like us. Ours is not an easy job and the job does take a bit of flair to pull a show together each week to make it enjoyable and profitable for all of us. Conflicts can arise in a minute and so-called friends can disappear even faster; when people don’t like or don’t follow our very limited rules, posted on flier reverse, our type-A personalities can get in the way of common sense very rapidly – like in Fishkill recently when very early packing made me remind some of you, those rules. And other rumors and miss-understood actions can turn long time friends against each other. This is not an easy business - especially when business itself in today’s world is not easy.

Look at the frustrations that our President, Donald Trump, has to put up with from the liberal left every hour of every day. When I see what he has to go through to try to make America Great Again, my job seems petty and small. But it isn’t, I know people depend on our shows and we all struggle, most every day, just to try to survive. Whether a billionaire or just lousy millionaires like most of us, we all have our problems. Cathy and I are on a road to recovery of health, of our disruption of livelihood without Saratoga and, as with us all, a struggle with time and age, but because of who we are, in the end we will succeed. With perseverance, prayers and good intentions, I know we all will.

Take care, may God Bless America, our new President and all of you – Cathy & Dave.