Normally, we’re talking about a 5-hour drive from Nashua, NH to Valley Forge, PA even though all routes seem to lead through the Big Apple. Seemed rather simple, get up at 4 am, on the road by 5 am and I’d be at the Valley Forge Convention Center in time for the gates to open.
Then I heard on the car radio, I-95 was closed, a truck fire had literally melted a bridge and both north and south arteries were closed because of the accident. I-95 is a major route into the New York City area and also the best approach to beat the morning rush hour traffic.
The detour took me onto an alternate route jammed with cars, trucks and busses. Several times traffic was bought to a parking lot standstill.
Total time added, an hour putting me into Valley Forge at about 11:30 and to the convention center by noon. Finding a parking space in that lot was a real challenge. It drew everything from trucks, busses, thousands or cars and six motor homes (Wonder if they pay to stay in the parking lot?).
The Expo itself took up most of the convention hall space for close to 150 exhibitor booths and well over 200 bar-size tables.
Additionally, another 15-20 challenge tables were arranged at the end of the hall. Here is where I found the OXYMORON?
Definition: Oxymoron--A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined.
All around the tables were signs “No Card Playing Allowed” flanked by tables where open gambling in full view of everyone. Stakes were often as high as $400 a rack for 9-ball.
The Fury/Instroke booth was a lot of fun from challenges to John Barton, the shill to passing out coupons for some of the strangest reason. No one I saw could take him on the table.
Tim Miller, The Monk, always seemed to be with 4 or 5 people from book buyers to those seeking to have purchases signed by the author. Others were trying to set up a seminar or workshop. Still others had questions about a facet of his training. One in particular stood out; Steven came up o he booth and waited a good half hour for The Monk. When Tim returned he pulled a well-worn copy of "I Came To Win" from his backpack for Tim to sign. Steven apparently carries the book with him daily because he has gotten so much from it. Nope, he didn't want it replaced under The Monk's guarantee.
The Sledgehammer booth for BabyProShop brought a lot of visitors and some buyers for Mike Gulassy's jump/break cue. They had a growing "show special" for a limited number of low-end Sledgehammers at $250 each. I saw 4 of them sold to the tune of "when these are gone, there won't be any more". Came by a half hour later and the four had been replaced.
Frog and Tadpole
I won a jump cue at the Expo; its yet to be determined if I can win with it.
I’m not a big fan of jump shots, but I've been trying them with regular cues--didn't work. I was passing the Frog/Tadpole booth when they announced a 4X20 raffle. The raffle was limited to 4 tickets at $20 each. The winner gets a new Frog; losers get a $20 discount off the purchase price.
Would you believe, my number was drawn?
Robin Dodson gave me a quick lesson on how to execute a jump shot. Amazing--it worked! Then, of course, when I got onto my home table 24 hours later, I couldn't jump a pencil lying on the table. I'm sure it is my form, not the cue. I'm going to have to work on it.