I’ve posted about it in the past, but twice a year in Chicagoland, there’s a great model car and promotional model show in Countryside at the IUOE Local 150 hall in Countryside, IL. My buddy and fellow Brougham aficionado Jim Smith always has a table of promos, and I help him out, so I get in for free. Always a great event and I always find something or several somethings to buy. Usually scale model Cadillacs and Lincolns. Naturally.
It runs from 10 to 2, so being approximately three hours away, I had to get an early start. It was still dark when I got in the car around 7:08. But it’s a straight shot from the Quad Cities to there: I80 for three quarters of the way, then I55 for the last quarter, then 3 miles on Joliet Road, and ta da! I’m there.
I usually don’t have any issues getting there since I leave early and arrive early. But this year, with about 20 miles to go, the 3-lanes narrowed to 1 and we stopped, near Romeoville. And stayed stopped. Yay. Well, I guess I can read my owners manual!
Eventually, we started moving. Slowly. Oh yes, it was fun. But after about 30 minutes of parking/moving 3 feet every 3 minutes, it cleared and I was on the move again.
Upon arrival it was almost 10. And the side door the vendors use was closed, so as to deter folks wanting to sneak in I guess. So I stood in line and eventually showed a picture of Jim’s form listing me as a helper and got in without being charged. I quickly found Jim (he’s always in the same spot) and we commenced chatting.
My other pal Bill Buckingham was there too and he brought a ’70 Toronado I’d bought off him. Love these. And Jo-Han had paint issues in the ’70s with many of their promos, but this one had fantastic paint. I need to get a display case for it.
I’d also procured a bunch of new Matchbox cars for Jim, as the Chicagoland Walmarts and Targets have had approximately nothing. I’m guessing it’s the Tater Jr. types who buy everything, mark it up 1000% and list them on eBay. We negotiated a trade, and I got this most excellent 1977 Corvette promo in exchange.
After several circuits of the show floor I came upon a vendor selling very detailed 1/43 scale cars. $35 a pop or two for $60. And there were Cadillacs! So. Many. Cadillacs. I bought three at first. Told Jim and he went down and bought three. Then I bought three more. I was buying Cadillacs like Elvis.
It was a good show and despite the traffic snarl getting there it was totally worth the trip. And as I was heading home I realized, wait a minute, I’m driving right past Geneseo on the way home! So I stopped at my favorite restaurant, The Cellar.
A terrific old school place. Not much has changed since it opened in 1960 in the former Geneseo House Hotel. The hotel has since been reconfigured into professional office suites but the restaurant remains.
You usually need a reservation-it’s very popular-but nothing dentured, nothing grained. So I went in and asked about a table for one. And they were kind enough to find me a spot! Where I had my usual surf and turf with a gin and tonic. So civilized!
All in all, a great day. But I was tired!
So until next time folks, go Brougham or go home. And always tip your bartender!