The First Annual Porterville, California Insulator Swap Meet was held in the midst of the San Joaquin's orchards and vinyards at Mark Merzoian's ranch on September 16th, 2000. The outdoor venue featured lots of great insulators, huge mulberry shade trees, pick-your-own fresh grapes (yummmmy), a light valley breeze, donuts, coffee, great fellowship, a mouth-watering home-cooked BBQ lunch bar, unlimited cold soda, tours of the Merzoian brother's stunning insulator collections and a barn full of insulator sale stock that everyone really had fun picking through.
Dealer turnout was light for this first annual show as was the walk-in business but the exciting and very cool folks who did show up had a blast. We are glad that more of you have a lot of notice for next year's gala event! :c)
Bill & Arlene Heitkotter from Fresno were set up and spent the day selling insulators and sharing stories with everyone including Steve and Linda Viola from Mountain View. Steve's insulators look better and better every time I see him set up at a show. How does he doo-dat? David Brown of Tulare brought a wonderful assortment of colored glass as did Bob and Mark Merzoian. Mike Doyle had a table full of insulators, go-withs and some really odd shaped glass.... um.... thingies. Other show goers included Bob McLaughlin of Fresno (Yes, That McLaughlin!) and Mike Middleton who also cooked the scrumptious BBQ chicken for the buffet lunch feast.
Everyone missed Fred Padgett and expressed their wishes for his speedy recovery from an increasingly bothersome back ailment. Hope to see you at Tulare, Fred!
Well that about does it. This location is absolutely perfect, it's easy to find coming from from either direction on highway 99 and there is plenty of dealer set-up space just like the Rohde Ranch. These kind of get-togethers are what got out hobby started in the first place and it is really great to see them becoming more and more popular all over again. The weekend date will work better next year now that everyone has advance notice. I'm sure that I speak for all of my fellow thread-heads when I express my sincere appreciation to both Mark and Bob Merzoian for their generous hospitality, flexibility and patience hosting this first annual swap meet. This one has potential folks, hope 2 C U there next year!
Polecat Mike Doyle
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