This past Sunday, I took Julie to the Sacapex show at the Scottish Rite temple in Sacramento. We went last year, and from the day the postcard came in the mail for this years show, she was ready to go. She was up bright and early Sunday, chomping at the bit to leave. Since we had just turned back the clocks, she had to wait an extra hour.
When we did make it to the show (at 10:05), she went to the youth table and started picking out stamps. Unlike last year, she didn't just grab every flower stamp she saw, she would check each against the ones already in her pile to make sure she wasn't getting doubles. After about 5 minutes, a man came out from the main room of the show, and asked Julie if she had a stamp album yet. She said she didn't, and the man handed her a two volume Harris Statesman album. She was thrilled. Since I was the one that had to carry this through the rest of the show, I was a little less so, but I am sure she will love filling them up. I bought her a pack of hinges from a supplies dealer at the show so that she could put her stamps away later. Julie also picked up a USPS comic book, a stamps coloring book, and a couple of US Stamp yearbooks. When she was done at the youth table, we walked into the main show. Several dealers gave her free covers, one even gave her a few colorful souvenir sheets.
I didn't expect to find much at the show for myself, although I did spend a few minutes at each table looking through their Israel stock. Most had nothing, and the ones that had anything mostly had common singles. Then, at one table that Julie was looking through a cover box, I asked about Israel stamps. They had a small box with common singles, and when I finished looking through it, the dealer said he thought he had some in a stock book he had just bought. The stock book had a bunch of different countries included, and about 4 pages of Israel.
It was on those 4 pages that I found a handful of Town Emblem plate blocks. I checked the dates, and lo and behold, there were 3 I needed. He even had duplicates of each of them. I assumed they were common dates that I was just missing. I asked the dealer how much for the 3 I needed, and he said half catalog. I didn't have my Bale catalog with me, having assumed that I wouldn't find anything that I needed to look up, but the dealer went to the table next to his to borrow a catalog to figure out the price. He returned with a Scott catalog. I told him that Scott doesn't price Israel plate blocks. He said, no problem, it will be just 5 times the price of a single. Of course, all 3 stamps were valued at the minimum price of 20 cents a piece. Meanwhile, Julie had found a cover she liked, so for $3 I got the 3 plateblocks shown above plus Julie's cover.
When we got home from the show, I showed Julie how to hinge stamps into her album. She is still working on getting the hang of it. I am not sure how Harris chooses which stamps to picture int eh album, but it appears that many of the ones she has aren't pictured, but she is working through the ones that are. While she was doing that, I pulled out my Bale catalog to check the value on the 3 blocks I had bought. The first one I checked was listed at $25, not bad. The second was $65. So, those two weren't common ones at all. Then I checked the third one. It is listed as TE25. $750. The rarest of the Town Emblem plate block dates. I was shocked. I had just bought 3 plateblocks that catalog for over $800 for about $2. And then I started thinking, he had at least one more of each of these in his stock book. I could have had one for my collection, and one to sell. If I had the catalog with me, I would have known these were rare, and purchased all he had. Then, I remember, if I had my catalog to know the value of these, the dealer would have known the value as well, and I don't think I would have gotten them for $2 at that point. I guess it worked out OK.
While not expecting to find anything for me, I found perhaps my biggest bargain to date (eclipsing the UPU booklet FDC I bought on E-bay for $5). And Julie had a great time. Yes, it definitely was a great show. Too bad the next one is a year away. Maybe that same dealer will be there with that same stock book...