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Cayucos 2004 Personal Show Journal by Christian Willis, May 14-15.

After several months of work and little play, Cayucos was a much needed respite. It’s one of the few times I actually enjoy getting up before the sun does. At 3:15 am, I was up and at it. My Toyota RAV4 had been packed the night before, so the only thing left to pack in it was me. I hit the road at 4:15 and stopped down at the Circle K for my yearly ritual of hot chocolate. The traffic was surprisingly kind to me and I was able to use the cruise control most of the way up.

At 6:45, I arrived in Santa Barbara. I got off Hwy. 101 at Cabrillo St. (Exit 94C) and drove down the strand towards my breakfast destination: Sambo's. Trouble is, they don’t open until 7 am, so I had to wait outside for about 15 minutes. As I was one of the first ones in, I sat at the counter and was served promptly. It had been a long time since I had bacon, eggs and pancakes (probably since last year!) so I enjoyed the meal.

I was off again at about 7:45. I took the Hwy. 154 shortcut back up to the 101 and stopped for gas at the 76 station at the Five Cities Dr. exit in Pismo Beach. Practically before I knew it, I was in Cayucos. At 9:30 on the nose (the exact time my dad predicted, of course) I pulled up to my dad's trailer up on the hill overlooking the Cayucos pier and Veteran's Hall. We talked for awhile, and then headed on down to the show hall. Much to my surprise, the tables were already up and in place.

After we set up our table, I gave my two insulators to Paul Alleeson for the combined club display: a CD 154 MR Hemingray, and a CD 216 Lowex in flashed amber. I'd say my pieces were probably the most mundane of the display, and looked pretty out of place sitting next to threadless pilgrim hats and cobalt EC&Ms.

For lunch, we got our usual smoked tuna sandwich. I sold a few insulators (more than enough to pay for the table), gave away a few, and made my rounds. I picked up several embossing pieces, and three style numbers that I didn’t have: the CD 303/310 No.76 Muncie, the CD 295 No.4 High Voltage, and the CD 281 No.1 High Voltage.

At about 7:30 pm, we covered up the table and headed off to get dinner at McDonald's down in Morro Bay. We went to bed almost immediately after we returned to the trailer.
I had a great night's sleep and was ready to go the next morning at 8 am. I took a shower and we were down at the show hall by 9.

We were literally the last ones to arrive. Every other table in the place was already uncovered; and there ours lay in the center of the room, empty. I must be slipping! Usually I'm one of the first to arrive. The first thing I did after uncovering our table was go buy two insulators I had been eyeing but hadn't bought: both were CD 116s; one was the thick-lipped mold variation sitting on Bob Merzoian's table, the same one I had first seen at the 2003 Merzoian Tailgater, and the second one was over at Paul Greaves ' table, the version without the December Patent on the F-Dome. I bought both of them for under $100 total. Not bad at all.

I bought a few other pieces throughout the rest of the show, including a CD 154 Hemingray smooth base with no periods in USA, and a CD 134 Hemingray with prismatic embossing (an embossing style I didn’t know the CD 134 Hemingray came in until now.) As the time for the raffle drew near, I purchased 6 tickets for $2 and donated a CD 152 California in light smoke.

A couple hours later, right in the middle of an impromptu meeting with Paul, Bob, and Dwayne, Sid called my number! I got up to the raffle table and looked at the various insulators, trying to decide which one to take, when Sid pointed to the grand prize, a beautiful display case built and donated by Richard Dawson. Apparently that was what I had won: the grand prize! Needless to say, I was absolutely floored as I took it back to the table. I was equally shocked a few minutes later when, as I was wheeling and dealing over at my table, I heard Sid shout, "Wake up, Willis!" Apparently I had won a second time! This time I picked the CD 325 Pyrex that Sid had donated. Of course now I was being ribbed for "rigging" the raffle. (Total flashback of Cayucos '96!) I was soon let off the hook, however, when Pat Patocka won the raffle four times, thereby becoming the new object of playful derision.

Happy that I had won twice, including the grand prize, I was completely satisfied. Ahh yes, but isn't the third time a charm? Sure enough, the last raffle drawing of the show was me, again. (For the record, that’s three times, and I only had six tickets total!) I ended up taking the last two things on the table: a Westinghouse lightning arrestor and a needlework donated by Clarice Gordon. Elaine Bayes showed interest in the rather heavy lightning arrestor, which I was happy to give to her.

Before we knew it, 3 o'clock had rolled around. Sid's famous sausage was being handed out and we knew it was time to start packing up. I helped tear down a few of the tables and chairs, and just as I started out the back door towards the barbecue, the line was forming for food. I was actually one of the first in line for the first time ever. As always, the tri-tip, beans, garlic bread, sausage, and salad was phenomenal. Sid even gave me some sausage and linguica to take home.

After the barbecue, we had an informal club meeting to discuss the web site, newsletter, club t-shirts, and adding more annual shows to the club's calendar. I'm looking forward to doing the newsletter!

We then said our goodbyes and headed back up to the trailer. It was another memorable Cayucos show!

Christian at the sales table.

Combined club display

Me standing next to my raffle winnings!

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