Coronavirus and Cartridges

This sucks. It really, really sucks. Tomorrow morning, Monday 6 April 2020, my wife Cathi and I should be leaving our home in Orange Park, Florida, in our minivan loaded up with lots of collectible cartridges and Gyrojet and HWS Vol. III books heading for the Renaissance Hotel in St. Louis. We usually stop for the night in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, at a fancy Hilton hotel as a treat, but not this year. No romantic steak and wine dinner, followed by a great night’s rest, then off to St. Louis to arrive early Tuesday afternoon. There, as we are unloading and moving to our room, we meet so many of you for the first time since last year. But again, not this year. No in-room trading, no grading the airline planes’ landings from the lounge, no drinking of Lew Curtis’ and “His Lordship” Martin Golland’s Scotch, no telling of tall tales about our adventures last year, no wearing of Pepper Burruss’ NFL Super Bowl ring, no nothing. Cathi will not go shopping in St. Charles. On Wednesday, we will not set up our displays (mine on British WWII revolver cartridges); no early deals to be made, or deliveries to be done from earlier deals (sorry NATO Dave; I’m holding yours from Frank Hackley). On Thursday, Cathi and I will be hunkered down in our north Florida Orange Park home instead of enjoying the SLICS opening day. What a day Thursday usually is! So much to see and so many trades to make, but not this year. No seminar where we all get an education, and no Friday night buffet and live auction where I hoped to win that Tround I need for the new book and sell a few Gyrojets from the old book, thanks to the great work of Will Adye-White and Dan LeClair. During the day, I would stroll through the show carefully checking each table for something I need or just want, or box, or literature, or just talking to long-time cartridge friends about last year’s adventures and how they are doing. As a new 2020 show sponsor as MRC3 Publishing, I know how hard Aaron Newcomer has worked to make his transition as show manager a huge success, only to have the rug pulled out from under him by Covid-19. He has worked up many improvements from Vic Engel’s and my days as SLICS managers, but we won’t enjoy them this year, starting tomorrow. No, nothing. But by God, stand by for 2021, which will probably be the greatest SLICS in history due to two-year’s pent-up demand and relief that we can finally get together again.

In the meantime, please share with us here how you and yours are doing during this terrible time, when all our lives are turned upside-down and when cartridge collecting is forced to take a back seat to simple survival. Let’s use this Forum to keep up to date with our cartridge-collecting friends and how each of us is dealing with the challenge. Cathi and I are fine. We have no symptoms and we have plenty of food and supplies, thanks to our wonderful local Publix supermarkets and a little hurricane-type pre-planning. How about you?

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Mel,
Everyone in the world has been blind sided with this mess and it may be this time next year before some normalcy returns. Best thing is we are still able to tell about it and look forward to St. Louis next year. I may have to make the trip again myself. Best wishes to everyone!
Your “neighbor”, Tom Fort

I’ve also been looking at the calendar, lamenting the fact that Wednesday I’ll wake up and log in to work instead of heading to the airport for St. Louis. Outside of spending time with my family, the yearly trip to SLICS is my absolute favorite thing in the world. While I’m supremely thankful that my family and friends are safe and sound, I wholeheartedly agree with Mel that this sucks!

It’s probably not feasible given connection limits, not to mention the number of different time zones we all live in, but wouldn’t it be fun to have a SLICS Zoom get-together?

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Mel,

Here it is a double whammy for us. With the California laws in place even one cartridge coming to the state must go through a dealer. Meanwhile, all the gun shops, I think, are closed by State mandate. I know my friend’s is. It was bad enough to have to drive 70 miles round trip to pick up a package with two or three cartridges in it, but now, there is no one in my area open to receive it. That and some other factors have just about ended my days as a cartidge collector, along, I am sure, with the few other serious cartridge collectors in California.

Just beginning to be not worth the trouble. My son and I had air tickets for SLICS, but after insuring with the flying regs that about 3/4 of my friends wouldn’t be there, we decided to cancel out, the day before the show was basically cancelled by St. Louis County, along with all other public meetings of a given number in attendance. With the ridiculous hoarding of ammo reminiscent of the pre-presidential election, even before the gun shops were closed down the one or two local ones were so “sold out” that you couldn’t even buy a box of some new load or headstamp for your collection.

It is a sad time for everyone, of course, not just us as cartridge collectors. It seems for us over 80 guys, there are no more “sunset” days, just boredom. At least we still have the forum to keep us busy for a few short periods each day.

My best wishes for all of our collecting fraternity all over the world. While horrible enough, the numbers of cases of this thing are, compared to the population numbers, not huge, it seems to be escalating rapidly during these times of huge changes to life styles in an attempt to avoid it. Be careful, all you guys and gals, especially if you are in the Grey Hair Brigade. I, for one, am o.k. I live alone, but worry about my son and his family. My neighbors have been great, and I am touched and grateful for the old friends, and some who know me from the forum but are not really acquaintances of mine, that have contacted me to see if things are o.k. Shows the wonderful folks that are involved in our hobby! God bless you all.

John Moss

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The worst part of this crisis is that the most at risk of our fraternity are those with the most knowledge.
We were away in our caravan and had to rush home before the state borders were closed, fortunate in a way because we had supplies for a month already. We decided to self isolate and expect this could last for some months. We are very fortunate that our children insist on our staying home and will obtain anything we need. God bless them for worrying about us. Being in the last seventies we are very aware of the danger.

I for one have plenty to do, but will also attempt to finish a couple of articles for the IAA hopefully covering the basics of .303 production in Australia. I also want to duplicate relevant documentation and provide copies to other younger collectors so the knowledge isn’t lost when I’m gone, hopefully in many years to come.
I would suggest any one who can do likewise would benefit the organisation.

Keep inside, keep well and do look after your health.

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Question:
Is it possible for people who have various displays for SLICS 2020 (posters, boards, individual special items etc) to post PHOTOS of them at this topic (so we can have a VIRTUAL SLICS)?

Thanks Mel – this really sums up the sentiments of all.

Today I should have flown to Toronto and met up with Will A-W, Dwight J and Jean D. We would have had our ‘Brampton Cartridge Show’ in Will’s basement and then off to some great restaurant that Will and Pat had scouted out.

Tomorrow morning we’d go pick up our rental van, bring it back to Will’s and load up. We do our border crossing at Detroit/Windsor and head south. It’s amazing how during the course of a day you can see the season change. By the end of the trip the crapapple trees along the interstate are in full bloom. It’s dark by the time we get into Terre Haute, Indiana. Off to the Olive Garden to celebrate another successful road trip. SLICS is just another 3.5 hours away and we get a time change that gives us another precious hour!

We’d roll in to St. Louis by 10:30 on Tuesday morning. We jokingly say ‘good-bye’ to each other as we all have our own ‘missions’ that we are on and friends to find and catch up with.

It always amazes me that on the Tuesday you say to yourself ‘I’ve got 5 days, so enjoy every moment and take it all in’ and then in a blink of an eye it’s Friday night at the live auction and that you are leaving the next day…

It’s a pretty quite drive home! We stop for the night at the Holiday Inn in Windsor. It’s been a 10 hour drive. A quick breakfast the next morning and hit the road again for the final leg. It’s been a 1400 km/14 hour drive each way. On the way back I have a quick visit with Chris P and then an all to short visit with my family who live in Ontario. Easter Monday a flight back to Edmonton and to work the next day.

It’s funny how these traditions become so important to the whole experience.

Sadly (?), this will be the first time in 20 years that I’ll be home for Easter.

I’ll miss seeing everyone.

I like Vlad’s idea of a virtual SLICS!

Take care everyone.

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Glad to hear that all are well so far. Absolutely sucks to miss SLICS in just about every way I can think of - I start looking forward to the next year’s show about the time I clear the Renaissance parking lot to head for home.

We’re hunkered down and doing okay here in the only state in the union without a single state, county or city stay-at-home order. Our Governor has determined that body counts are less concerning than losing commerce from not being able to run to the Quickie Mart for an egg roll whenever the urge strikes. I’m in the no-hair brigade and there are two immunocompromised individuals in the household so we’re taking no chances. We personally know of folks in the area who are symptomatic but can’t get tested.

I hope all stay safe and well because I very much look forward to seeing everyone next year.
Rich

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I have been packed and ready to go for over a month. I typically arrive Monday around 4pm and upon hauling a cart full of cartridges to the room, I open up for trade. Either in the room or while wandering from room to room, I see old friends and make new ones and sometimes even manage to spend some money on a few new pistol rounds or USC Co fliers. This year I planned on parting out a very large collection of 45-70s I bought last Fall. There are six different Chinese headstamps and a massive amount of Frankfort Arsenal, UMC, and Winchester dated rounds. Following the advice of Vlad, I am posting images of a few significant rounds that I thought needed a new caretaker. I planned on three tables this year versus the usual two tables to hold the 45-70s as well as lots of other desirable pistol and military rounds, my KTW and Conn Cartridge Co box collections…

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Miss seeing everyone, hope sometime this year we can meet at another show.
Don’t forget to renew your IAA dues.
Gary

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Well I would have just gotten to sleep in my hotel room having spent the best part of 36 hours getting to St Louis. The distance, airline schedules and number of connecting flights meant that I either landed Sunday evening or Wednesday evening. So I figured I’d spend a few days being a tourist and finding the goodies on offer in other peoples rooms.

Really annoyed as this was going to be my first SLICS…

Bonjour Mel and all others, my plane was scheduled yesterday… we had a message exchange with Rene K about the Deleyed panel at the airport! My answer was one year. This is a trip I am always waiting for, meeting all the friends and sharing great moments, from breakfast to room trading and room talking, and even to prepare the fake displays, hi Pepper… someone wrote 2021 Slics is going to be great. I totally agree.
I am living quite close to both the French and the Italian border and we are in the middle of the covid Crisis! Bad, I also have to stay home. The job of all medical workers, shop employees, and all others is just great.
Good luck to you all and See you next year in St Louis.
JF

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I understand you all. I have never been to a meeting in the US I live in Spain.For many of us, this pandemic has “disrupted” our projects. But I think the most important thing at the moment is to safeguard our health and that of our families. That is above all. Next year there will be another meeting … the important thing is to see ALL those friends ONE MORE TIME … that we don’t have to “remember” anyone…A hug to all and take care please

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Hi Friends,

I.was planning to visit SLICS with my Friend Tomas ( Trabi_fun) but things went shit…It should be first time for me to visit USA and SLICS. I was full of awaiting for new friends meet virtual friends from forum and some old friends I know personaly I want to send many greetings to Lew Curtis, Paul Smith and hope you are well.
I am very dispapointed of the situation in the world and dont know what will be next year. I hope we all meet us next year and make a lot of nice deals. I hope next year will be great.
We have Fligt tickets for next year ( paid in 2019) :-D
I hope we get a voucher for next slics for the money from 2019.:-D
keep well and have a nice day.
Pavel

Gary, if you put those 3 tables in front of your house, AND, if they will stop forcing me to go to work every day, then I am willing to take a 2 day car ride to see your stuff. Make it a 3 day car ride…

“It’s funny how these traditions become so important to the whole experience.”
Paul,
I couldn’t agree more.
I am sitting at the table lamenting the fact that I will not be getting up in the middle of the night tonight and leaving about 3am for SLICS. The 10 hour drive has become so much a part of the experience. I am actually missing it. Just south of Crown Point, Indiana i get off the expressway and take 2 lane roads over to Kankakee, Illinois. Doing so I pass through a bunch of small towns. I really like these small towns. I will miss seeing them this year. After 20+ years (I believe the first SLICS was in 1999) someone please correct me if I am wrong. I start looking forward to the next year on the 10 hour drive home. This is my main event of the year for me. This is going to be very tough. But I am starting to look forward to next year now, thanks to you guys.
Thankfully my family and I are all safe and well.
Pictures of displays is a great idea. Even pictures from past SLICS would be welcome in my view.
Stay safe everyone, and see you next year!
Zac

My wife Jeanne and I were scheduled to fly to St Louis tomorrow. I was very much looking forward to the show. I have several deals that will now be delayed and won’t have the opporunity to see any of the “Cartridge Gang” til next year. Well maybe a couple folks later this year if the SD show and Coeur d’Alene come off.

As to what we are doing… Utah still does not have a state wide shelter in place order. Wouldn’t make a difference to me as I was declared an “Essential worker” at the onset of this. So I drive to a mostly empty building everyday. About 85% of our workforce is telecommuting. Those of us who come in, maintain social distance and do a lot of handwashing.

We live in small town and pretty much everything but the grocery stores are shudown. All restaurants are take out only. We can go to the state parks if we are residents of the county the park is in. So its lots of neighborhood walks, reading, yard work, and internet surfing.

No cases yet in our town and only 1 in the nearest town to our north.

Everyone stay safe and hang in there.
Pat

I just checked in, room 745.
where is everybody . . . . ??

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Instead of heading to SLICS on Tues via a short flight from Texas, I’m learning to homeschool my kids this week after being “on spring break / long weekend” for the last 3 weeks… Converting to work from home as well during this time.

I dont think the virous is as dangerous as the wife, she is Making me do the to do list and adding to it faster than I can get them done

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One place in the world where there is no stay-in-place order https://www.foxnews.com/media/john-barrasso-wyoming-still-has-no-stay-at-home-order