Paul Lee and I drove up to the Copake (N.Y.) swap meet and auction preview today. This was the first time that I didn't set up a table... The first table we encountered as we entered was a guy that was liquidating the dregs of a recently deceased shop in Connecticut. He had lots of NOS Raleigh stuff and clothing: Cool Gear, ProTogs, Sergal. Curtis Anthony was having a field day and finally went and got his van and pulled it right up so that he could load up his haul. Among other things he had a number of NIB Raleighs. The best model that he had with him was Super Course but he said that he had some Internationals and Pros back home. I asked him if he was the dude that was bringing the NIB Raleighs to Cirque? He had no idea what I was talking about. I took his email and promised to send him the link. I hope he goes... We had to dig a bit but Paul and I scored some nice woollies.
Sam Fitzsimmons had a table set up. I am happy to report that he is looking quite well. Aside from being the most knowledgeable person I know when it comes to vintage and antiques bikes, he is also a gentleman of the first order. It is a relief to see him doing well... Curtis brought his dog Fido along. He is one colorful character! (Curtis)
I was in one booth and I noticed from his business card that the vendor was from Morgantown, West Virginia. This was remarkable to me for several reasons. Not the least of which is that list member Larry Osborn is also from Morgantown and I knew that Larry was coming to Copake. I told the vendor that one of his neighbors was probably lurking around here somewhere. The guy was incredulous and asked me to point Larry in his direction. As if on cue Larry sauntered into the booth. I introduced them and it was like old home week....
The Auction preview opened at 11:00. For those of you who don't know, Copake's primary focus is antique bikes, so us lightweight guys were not quite sure what we were looking at but we knew it was cool and we couldn't afford it. There was a nice Hetchins in the auction. I think it was Alf Hetchins personal bike.
There was one vendor who had a snowmobile trailer and a pick-up truck full of what was left of another dead bike shop. This one was from Cherry Valley, N.Y. near Albany. The guy had been trying all morning to sell everything as one lot. About noon he realized the futility of that and had a fire sale. Sam, Curtis, Larry, Paul and I were all gleeful participants in the feeding frenzy that followed. I had a blast finding stuff for other people. The only thing that I found that I actually wanted was a credit card terminal (price $0)... Classic content? My credit card terminal is a classic in it's own right and as such is nearing it's life expectancy. Perhaps the new one will bring me better luck then it's former owner... I'll see you N.Y./ N.J. guys on Sunday weather permitting. Jamie Swan, Centerport Cycles, Northport, Long Island, New York.