10/09/2010

The Hershey Miracle

I know the title sounds like it should be written in December and not October, but give me achance to explain.  A few years ago I composed the Hershey Review 2005  about going to the worlds largest car show with my folks  and Uncle Chuck. Well I hadn't been there since, admittedlyI have had other destinations that I have written about  previously. The trip was planned by Bill Dickerson, a long time ALPCA friend and mentor.  As with a lot of northeast collectors didn't make it down to the ALPCA Convention down in Arlington, so they opted for the next best thing Hershey. Anyone who has been there knows the show has two parts, the actual car showand a huge flea  market. The last time my folks, Uncle Chuck and I focused our one good weather day (it ALWAYS rains one of  the days in Hershey during the car show) on the car show, this trip was for theflea market because that's primarly where the ALPCA members hang out.
Like we did for a license plate meet back in June, Bill drove from his home from NH Tuesday night so we could be out the door really early Wenesday morning. When I say really early I  mean before sunrise. We got up, ate a good breakfast and were on the road a little after six. This must have annoyed my dad a little because whenever he wants to leave that early I usually groan. So with a mixture of musical tastes on the radio, we were off.
I chuckle everytime I think of this but Bill kept reminding me the show opens at seven in which I replied the vendors are just unpacking, even though most of them arrive Tuesday some even Monday. We finally got there, parked and then made our way across to  the Chocolate Field where the majority of our buddies where setup. We found our way to the main base, where we found Gerry Griffin and Allan Young. Gerry greeted me with a handshake and a beer, I gladly accepted both,. Allan then noticed I had a box of plates sitting under my seat in the scooter's basket. He  mentioned something like I don't waste any time buying in which I replied I brought the plates to trade. Originally I wasjust going to try to sell the plates off my scooter, like people who  sell watches out of the back of their cars. Then Allan started moving some of his plates around and offer to share his space, a common nicegesture among license plate collectors.
After settling down a little Bill and I found our way over to the ALPCA tent where I saw a few more fimilar faces. The host Dick Youga warmly welcomed me with a handshake. He then commented on the fact I had made the ALPCA convention AND Hershey, I was proud of myself.
Unfortunately, Roger had a lot of difficult getting settled  because the show  organizers marked the spaces wrong. Though we had a good talk which I always enjoy. Although we chat online all the time, there is nothing like the face-to-face contact.While the nature of the conversation was generally upbeat, we both aknowledged each others troubles over the summer as well. Him with his heart attack and well mine is my back spasisms. Like the last few years running he and Marco shared a tent. i was
The shock of the show came when I arrived at a fellow ALPCA's members booth and came across some old NJ government plates. Actually I knew this member had older non-passenger plates and knew I was  collecting them. I picked out a fewmunicipal plates for the run. As I was about to pay him I noticed he had a police scanner, an old one. I asked him what he was listening to and he said the local trains and  stuff, I asked him ifhe wanted the Hershey Park  Security frequency. His eyes lit up and I promptly gave him the numbers to punch in!
Bill and I left the show a little after 4, of course I wanted to stay longer, but I knew he had a long drive ahead of him.
As we were leaving the grounds I managed to stop by the Hershey booth. I was likea kid in a candy store...or in this case candy tent! My second trip out to the biggest carshow had come to an end!