Dave Elliott's 5th Annual San Francisco Bay Area Insulator Show and Swap Meet
by Mike Doyle

At 2 a.m., when the alarm jerked me out of Dreams Of Glass, I sat bolt upright in bed, arched my back, stretched my arms out to my spread finger tips and hollered to no one in particular, "IT'S SHOWTIME!" Swinging my feet to the floor, I hopped into my jeans, wobbled over my sneakers, struggled with my T-shirt and stumbled down the hall to grab a cup of java. Still mostly in dreamland, I poured a big gulp of fresh, hot go-juice with a splash of milk, grabbed the truck keys, fumbled for the back door knob, hit the garage door button, lurched into the cab and headed down the dark street for Exeter to pick up Dave Brown. Once we loaded Dave's insulators and light box into my truck we headed east for the Bay Area and Mountain View.

We took the trusty S-10 across the San Joaquin Valley, over Pacheco Pass and into Mountain View. Show parking was readily available and close to the hall, the parking lot surrounded with telephone poles sportin' all sorts of colorful insulators. We were met by show host and Nor-Cal Insulator Club Vice President Dave Elliott, Fresno's Bill Heitkotter and Glenn Adkins from Vacaville, CA. Dave Brown and I set up outside the hall next to Colin Jung from Mountain View. Next to Colin, Ian Macky and his father David set up a table adorned with a bunch of cool Canadian ponies. Somehow, Ian ended the day with a CD306 Lynchburg in great condition and a sweet CD102 Cornflower Brookfield pony. How does he do that? After setting up, Dave and I treated ourselves to hot coffee and fresh doughnuts while we took a few minutes to visit with the other dealers.

Bill Heitkotter had staked out his customary corner at the back of the hall. Dave Elliott's assorted CDs sale table was up front near the club's very colorful combined CD display. Larry Shumaker, Nor-Cal president from Citrus Heights, set up his predominantly CD162 sales table just inside the show hall door with help from his wife Alice and their grand-daughter, Audrey. Terry Kuhn and Paul Dallin from San Jose were selling some wonderful bottles and assorted collectibles. Walter Ruderich's daughter, Mary Anne, brought an ample supply of the new San Francisco wooden insulator history books entitled "Wood Amongst The Wires". Fred and Walter's book is available for $39 ppd to US buyers ($42 to Canada) from Fred Padgett, PO Box 1122, Livermore, CA 94551-1122.

Many more familiar collectors showed up during the next two hours. I saw NIA By-Laws Chairman, Bill "MudMan" Rohde, from Williams, Steve and Linda Viola from Mountain View, Steve Bava and Janet Bond from Antioch and I think I even saw Steve Marsh from Sacramento (We are all praying that your broken ankle heals well, Steve. Hope you can make it up to Auburn in August!) Later on in the morning, I think that I even saw Dennis Kotan at one point, but I can't remember for sure. I was probably thinking more about lunch than taking who's-who notes.

Dave and his mom put on another fantastic lunch spread including three different kinds of sub sandwiches, an assortment of drinks, salad, bread, veggies and two or three different kinds of dessert. I had to take a nap after I ate. Good vittles you guys!

Show sales were hoppin' and the dealers with whom I spoke after the show all said that they had a great day of sales, swaps and stories. After the show Dave Elliott graciously opened his home for everyone to view his awesome CD121 toll collection. This opportunity alone made the show worth the trip. What a collection on display!

This show is a 'Don't Miss' if you are anywhere on the West Coast! I'll definitely be back next year but right now, I'm looking forward to the August 18th Auburn show, the September 1st Merzoian Brother's Tailgater and the November 2nd and 3rd Tulare show. It's the fall season y'all, IT'S SHOWTIME!

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