I'm fortunate to live close enough to be able to attend the Show of Shows every year. This show, like in past years, was worth the trip from wherever you call home. I thought that I would post a few random thoughts about this years show. Merely my observations.
There was a noticeable number of empty tables, as well as tables that had been sparsely filled by adjacent dealers. I don't know how many of these were the result of cancellations due to bad weather in Louisville and throughout the eastern half of the country. Louisville was still dealing with the effects of a recent snowstorm and unusually cold temperatures. OVMS's choice of an ice scraper for their show souvenir was both clever and appropriate.
The largest importer of moderately priced German militaria was noticeably absent from the show. The dealer, who did attend the show, said that he was able to sell his merchandise in Europe or via the internet and spare himself the expense of shipping and vending at the show. Hopefully, that doesn't become a trend.
There was a lack of inexpensive, bulk militaria. I know it's harder to find but I miss the days when Jerry Dooley would have laundry hoppers of patches and insignia. While it would be hard to replace Jerry, I hope the show attracts more venders of his kind.
The veteran guests were, as always, terrific. I was pleased to see the war in Vietnam well represented by Don Jenkins MOH, three Special Forces veterans and a combat Marine who has recently written a book about his experiences. All the veteran guests add so much to this show. Living history separates this show from other venues where the emphasis is solely on vending.
I only saw one vehicle on display, when there's normally three or four. This could be weather related as well.
There were several people wandering the show in a variety of impressions ranging from the Civil War through Vietnam. There was an entire family in WW2 attire. They add a nice touch to the show. The promoters should consider a discount as an incentive to attract more reenactors. If they're like most reenactors I know, they're going to spend the savings and more at the show anyway.
There were more Civil War venders at the show than normal. They were a nice addition to the show.
Lots of great German militaria that seems to be more expensive every year. I don't buy on that level, so I'm not necessarily a great judge.
There were some fairly noticeable fakes being offered as the real thing. Sadly, that has become all too common. And, I don't think that there is much the society can do about it. It still hurts the hobby.
All said, I had great time. The Show of Shows is still the best.