I have sent out an email to dealers to relay their favorite Nashville/Tailgate & Music Valley stories. For over 25 years, we've been getting together to do this, and many friendships have formed, tens of thousands of items have sold and some really funny stuff has happened. I will open with my favorite.
My First Job
In the fall of 1983, I was an eight grader who was spending a Saturday afternoon watching my dad's booth at the Past to Present Flea Market at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. At the same time, the Home in Indiana show was going on as well as the First Tailgate in Indy- run by Rick Norton, was being held at the old motel across the street. While sitting in the booth, someone called the show for me, it was my dad, who asked if I would be willing to wear a gorilla suit and hold a sign for the antique show and flag traffic towards the show as it exited the fairgrounds. I was reluctant at first, until he mentioned it paid $10 per hour. Apparently, costume work pays well. A few minutes later I was slipping into the costume and heading out to the corner of 38th & Colisseum Blvd. I felt silly at first, but I soon figured out that the people who were exiting the fairgrounds were laughing and some were even turning into the show. All of a sudden, I was having fun- imagine fun and $10 per hour at 13 years old. Well, what I didn't know was that the dealers at the Home in Indiana show were not happy- the quotes in Maine Antiques Digest were not kind. "Like fleas on a dogs back" one dealer was quoted. Funny thing- soon she was doing shows for us and did up until a few years ago until she passed away. I guess I would have to say those few hours in the gorilla suit were my favorite Tailgate memory. I will be sharing other dealers stories between now and the show.