More Cards Than You Could Shake a Stick At

Okay, that quaint old saying from the days when Davy Crockett cards were new isn’t heard much these days, and if you really wanted to, you probably could shake a stick at all those cards, but why would you want to? The Fall 2014 Chicago Non-Sport Card.

By Oct 7,2014  8

Okay, that quaint old saying from the days when Davy Crockett cards were new isn’t heard much these days, and if you really wanted to, you probably could shake a stick at all those cards, but why would you want to?

The Fall 2014 Chicago Non-Sport Card Show was held at the Holiday Inn in Carol Stream, IL on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 3 and 4 and it was fantastic! A small, friendly show with lots of familiar faces and quite a few new ones, made this one of the best shows in the last few years.

Chicagoland 2014

The show started early for me, when I picked up Bill DeFranzo at his son’s home. We had a great time chatting over lunch and arrived at the show just as it opened. NSU writer Scott Thomas came by later and what happens when three NSU guys get together at a show? We talked of many things, of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings… oh wait, that was the walrus and the carpenter…we talked about cards and Non-Sport Update.

Attendees had free admission to the show and received a free packet of promos. Inside were the flagship dealers of Scifi Cards and K & J Non Sport Cards, local dealers such as Looky Here, Iggy and Carl, David Hartman, and John’s Flea Circus, and Card Talkers Jon Doyle (Webjon) and “xtime.” A new dealer was Latveria’s Vault, with some great prices on individual cards and boxes. Among all these sellers, you could pretty much find anything you wanted. There were old cards, singles, and lots of sets, boxes, inserts and big hits, all at reasonable prices.

Going through the show, collectors were able to cross off many wants from their lists, including me, and it always pays to make more than one pass. Late on Saturday, while looking again at xtime’s table, I found something I thought I would never find, A Disney Experiences 9-card Cruise Lines set. Disney released several of the Experiences sets, for Disney World theme areas such as Adventureland and Epcot. The Cruise Line set was only available on the Cruise ships, but here was one at the show.

This was a big show for trading, and Greg Geerts, Lovesmesomecards, Rod S, xtime and Webjon all were great to trade with. We all finished off many sets and got a lot closer with several more.

Celeste and Bill Hjelmgren of Looky Here Cards

Celeste and Bill Hjelmgren of Looky Here Cards

Non-Sport Update's Scott Thomas and Bill DeFranzo

Non-Sport Update’s Scott Thomas and Bill DeFranzo

Set up outside the show was Paul Maiellaro, holding auctions of sketch cards to benefit the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation. I won a couple of great sketches. Paul was also conducting a raffle for one of the people who make the Chicago Show so special, Bill Hjelmgren of Looky Here Cards. Bill was recently diagnosed with cancer. He is responding well to treatment, looks good and has his maintained his cheerful personality; However he and his wife Celeste have experienced many extra medical costs. To help with this, local artist Connie Faye drew a beautiful portrait of Indiana Jones to raffle off. Paul ran the raffle and raised over $300 for Bill. In a drawing Saturday afternoon, Lawrence Kennedy of Illinois was picked as the winner.

And that wasn’t the only fundraiser for Bill, Ed Webb of Scifi Cards had some P5m metal cards left from another show (featuring art by Daniel Gorman). Ed was offering these for $20 with all proceeds going to Bill and Celeste. Hopefully, Bill will beat this thing and continue to set up at the Chicago shows for many years. Ed may have some metal cards left over if readers wish to contact him.

Friday night was the dinner gathering at Alberto’s Restaurant in the Hotel. It was our biggest turnout yet, with close to 20 people. Ed and his daughter Liz sat at the head of the table, with attendees from Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri and Illinois. The food and companionship was great. Then Ed handed out a special Dexter promo from Breygent, and from Ed, a metal variant of the show promo by our guest artist Mikey Babinski.

Speaking of Babinski, the artist was set up all weekend and had some really cool art for sale. I bought a killer set of cards based on the Sherlock television series. Babinski also had some very nice drawings for Doctor Who, The Walking Dead and Star Wars fans among others. It’s worth checking out his deviantART page.

For the last few years the show was co-sponsored by Ed from Scifi Cards and Kevin Bennett of K & J Non-Sports Cards. Sadly, this is Ed’s last show. He is moving to Arizona, away from the snow and cold of Northern Michigan. Scifi Cards mail order will still be as close as your computer or mailbox. While we will all miss Ed, we wish him a great new life in the warm Arizona sun. Just remember to check your shoes for scorpions, Ed!

Kevin has already reserved the room for next year. The Spring Chicago show will be held April 17-18 2015 at the same location. Save the date!

Dinner at Albertos

Friday night’s dinner at Alberto’s Restaurant was a packed house!

Paul Maiellaro and Bill Hjelmgren with art by Connie Faye

Paul Maiellaro and Bill Hjelmgren with Indiana Jones art by Connie Faye

Artist Mikey Babinski

Artist Mikey Babinski

Sketches by artist Mikey Babinski

Some of Babinski’s incredible Sherlock sketches

Treasure Chest Sketch

One of the Treasure Chest sketches I won. This one is by artist artist Vida Taylor.

K & J Non-Sports Cards' Kevin Bennett

K & J Non-Sports Cards’ Kevin Bennett. Bennett will host next year’s show.



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  • wolfie October 7, 2014 Reply

    Thanks for the report and the photos Don. Glad to see everyone had a great time. Was that wolfie’s little helper I spotted at the dinner? lol


    • Don Norton October 7, 2014 Reply

      Yes, it was.


  • Sharno October 7, 2014 Reply

    Nice report Don. Thanks for the great pictures. I see people there but I don’t know their names and thanks to your pictures now I will.


    • Don Norton October 7, 2014 Reply

      Thank you Sharno. If you are there next time, I’ll be happy to introduce you to some of the folks.


  • Paul Bines October 11, 2014 Reply

    Nice Report, Don! A quick question – how easy is it to get to the show location from, say, Chicago if you don’t drive?


    • Don Norton October 11, 2014 Reply

      Paul, there are trains from Downtown Chicago to surrounding towns. Then a cab from the station would come right to the hotel. And if you ever come out this way, we’ll work something out.


  • NL October 26, 2014 Reply

    Great pics. Seems to be a very cool show. One of these days…


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