I've been bemoaning the lack of anything vaguely resembling a card show in the Pittsburgh area for months. For an area that has such a large base of collectors its mind blowing that there are so few shows around here.
But the drought was broken this past weekend when there was finally a mall show out near my parents' house.
I know most of the dealers in the area, but this show is always special for me. The mall is about 20 mins from where I grew up, and most of the guys set up were regulars at the local card shop. My mom and I used to stop in the lcs every week after music lessons to rip some packs, so I have known a lot of these dealers since i was 11 or 12.
So I ducked out of work a bit early on Friday drove to my parents' and headed up to the mall for a healthy dose of nostalgia and hopefully some new additions to my collection.
The result are loaded dime boxes full of numbered cards, parallels, and anything he didn't feel like looking through. Everything in this post was a dime, and considering this was the third show he did with these boxes, I imagine they were even more loaded a month or two ago.
Keep in mind fellow bloggers - if I ever start a serious non-Pirate player collection, Jeff Bagwell will be the guy. I don't think I've ever appreciated an opposing player so much.
And I didn't even realize Mark McGwire had a sunset card in 2002 Topps. That alone was plenty to get me excited. But the Gold version? We have ourselves a Big Mac Attack here.
Err, wait. I bought the card anyway, didn't I?
But for an evening it felt like a timewarp. Driving up to the mall to get to the card show, hoping I don't run into anyone I know. Ignoring incessant calls from my parents asking when I'll be home for dinner, because I don't want to interrupt my dime box dig. Driving home for a quiet dinner with my parents.
Sometimes things change a lot. Sometimes they don't change much at all. I don't have much contact with most of my friends from high school - some people I lost touch with,others stopped talking for one reason or another, and many others moved away for school and haven't looked back - not unlike myself. In the years since I went away to college drug issues have taken the suburbs in a vice grip. Heroin related deaths hit alarming records last year in the county. But being back felt so familiar - the faces, the cards, the dusk drive home to have meatloaf with my parents. I think it's the first meal we've had on a Friday night that was just the three of us in a long time - Kate went out with some friends to watch roller derby match.
I guess cardboard has a way of making time stand still, immortalizing hurried motion in a single moment. Because a lot has changed in my life- married, job I love, living in a bunch of new places, a wonderful beard that I never would have dared to grow as a teenager, and a few extra pounds courtesy of college and grad school that just won't seem to go away. But for a couple hours digging through a couple dime boxes I could have been 17 again, getting ready to go meet my friends at Denny's in an hour or two.