Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pigeon Forge 2009: A Newbie's Perspective

Pigeon Forge:
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.

Labuznik's Awesome CCBC DIsplay

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.

Doug Carpenter enjoying a Whitefish Press book.

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.

Doug had this super cool Gayle/Meek display.

Steve Scarborough's awesome Indianapolis Casting Club group photo.

Steve Ahlfeldt's cool hand-carved frog ice spearing decoy.

A classy display of CCBC.

Mike Henkel's nifty spring-loaded lure.

John Caldwell's rare "B&M Midget" Montague.

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.

My roommate Herb Proctor and Labuznik hanging out at the auction.

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

1 comment:

Larry Moniz said...

Many years ago my late father-in-law gave me a Dame Stoddard Co., Boston, Neverbreak nine-foot split-bamboo fly rod. It has a slow action, spare tip and is in very good to excellent condition. It has a fitted, cloth-lined hard holder that the sections fit into. The entire unit slips lengthwise into the original canvas case. The case has several tears from age and some staining.
Does anyone have an idea of its current value?