A Newbie's Perspective
As this was my first Pigeon Forge show, I did not know what to expect upon my arrival. Up at 5:00 a.m. and a 300 mile journey from Cincinnati (with one detour getting lost as I turned right instead of left) brought me to the great state of Tennessee--with Titan fans everywhere I turned. Little did they know their joy would be stolen by a referee and a non-call on a delay-of-game call. But I digress.
Due to my aforementioned unfailing lack of a sense of direction, I arrived an hour later than I would have liked--around 11:00. I was immediately greeted by Chris Labuz and Steve Barrow, who had booths set up next to me. Chris had a terrific display of Creek Chubs.
I was surprised by several things at the show. First, it was larger than I expected. The room was surprisingly busy all day (the Whitefish Press table was a hub of activity) and everyone seemed to be in a great mood. I was able to meet a lot of collectors, particularly from the Carolinas, including Herb Proctor (who was gracious enough to share my room) and rodmaker Ralph Acker, who I was fortunate enough to talk with for some time about his interesting theories on rodbuilding. I will be doing an interview with Ralph very soon on the blog.
Due to my own stupidity, I did not realize there was an extra room on the far left of the hall as you come in. Here Tim Bahr, Roger Schulz, and Laurie & Ted Bingham, among others, were set up. I had a nice chat with all these ORCA friends. Matt Wickham, Bob Lane, John Caldwell, Bill McVeigh, Jim Schottenham, and numerous others helped to pass the time as I sat at the table waiting for books to sell.
Lots of very cool tackle was on display, including some very rare pieces. The following photos show only a few of the treasures on display.
I was able to find a few treasures for my own collection, including a Fernwood reel (with the wrong handle), a Dame, Stoddard & Co. spinner, a Buel fluted, a Keeling fluted, and a Burmek bait in an intro box. Not a bad show at all!
After a Cracker Barrel dinner, that evening a great time was had in Labuz's room, and the conversation involving Chris, Harry Matthews, Steve Ahlfeldt, Steve Barrow, Joe the Mike Estep Man, and myself made for a memorable evening. Everything from the history of cod fishing to salmon angling in Alaska was discussed.
Saturday morning saw a fairly small crowd so after a couple hours I packed up and headed out to beat the impending bad weather. It was a great show and I'll be happy to return again next year!
-- Dr. Todd