...and some of the younger producers, and perhaps the venue will attract them. Thanks to Chris' survey, we see that these people are indeed a big draw, and San Diego has much to offer the entire community. I could put together 60 to 70 of those display cases I used to make for shows, and ship them to a West Coast collector. I imagine breakage would be 10-15%, but what a display they would make! Chris could easily exceed this by magnitudes, and Rio Grande also has some very nice models that could be brought up. Jim A, John Y, John O, and Ulrich always have some gems, as do many others. And if the super-collectors and dealers come with new and/or excess models to sell, the market place could be very welcoming indeed. It strikes me that we have to do all we possibly can to make this work, but everything begins with the notion that the desired outcome is possible. I regret having left the game, but I was a problematic personality from day one and excesses ended up consuming my capacity to continue. Yet I am willing to send "my store" where it might do some good, while fully realizing the risks involved. Now, do I have someone on the other end who can play catch, display, and return five very large parcels? I will contact Peter, Carlo, and others, unless our national organization wants to do that job. But let us prepare now. And by the way, how much time do we have?
Thanks to all who responded to my earlier West Coast meeting post and Chris Daley's survey. Chris will probably follow up with the statistical results of the survey once he's sure all replies have been received. My own take is that the meeting will be held at San Diego, probably in late October of 2020, specific date to be announced once we find out exactly when Navy Day is (USN won't announce till December). I don't know if it will be possible to combine the San Diego and Claremont venues, but it will be nice to have our cake and eat it too!
Looking at the larger picture, there will probably be some changes in format for future meetings. For the last 15 years, our model has been that which the late Tom Haughton introduced at the first East Coast meeting at SUNY Maritime in 2004. A day of seminars and talks was followed the next day by the model show which offered model exhibits and a wide choice of new and second-hand models for sale, and drew crowds of over 100. The event was rounded off with group lunches and dinners, sightseeing trips, harbor cruises and ship visits on Navy Day. Besides Tom, the one individual most responsible for these early successes was George Elder, who always made sure he "brought the store" with him and also brought many of the European model producers over as well.
Unfortunately, George's retirement from the scene has brought with it diminished numbers of models for sale, and consequently diminished numbers of collectors buying them. Simple economics has made it difficult for dealers to attend meetings without a sure return on their expenses, and fewer models, of course, mean fewer attendees. Many of us try to make up the difference by bringing our own second-hand models and offering them at reasonable prices, so we've had some success at keeping the meetings going. I for one intend to bring a lot of my second-hands again (at reasonable process) and I urge every one else who plans to attend to do the same thing. And I also urge anyone who has suggestions on how to improve the meeting format to post them on the Board. And if you're willing to help us implement your suggestions, so much the better!
Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible at San Diego next year. Stay tuned for further news as it becomes available!