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Looking through some old hobby publications this week, I happened to run across the program for the 1982 Detroit Convention. In “the old days,” before there was an official National Convention, the Detroit convention really WAS the National Convention! It wasn’t called the National Convention. It wasn’t planned that way. It just happened. Even after the official National Convention came into being, the Detroit convention was like a second National. I’m sure the fact that the Detroit area had so many old time collectors played a role. And Detroit was a drivable distance from so many other states with a lot of collectors. Somehow, in the 1970s and 1980s, this was the one show that everyone went to. Carol and Lloyd Toerpe seemed to run everything and “make it happen” (at least as far as I could tell) though I’m sure they had lots of help. Collecting legends like Frank Nagy and Don Schlaff (whose spirit for the true joy of collecting has been passed to his nephew, super-collector Pat Preece), and Dick Reuss roamed the aisles. So many dealers who played such a big role in the early days of conventions were fixtures at these shows. Many collectors and dealers, including Bill Heitman (legendary longtime collector and author of “The Monster”), Mike Wheat (longtime collector/ dealer, and very active current owner of Mike Wheat Cards), Bill “King of Commons” Henderson (who hasn’t dealt with, or at least met The King of Commons over the past thirty years?), and others are still active to this day. (See dealer table list page!) With the National Convention happening just this past week, I thought that others - both those that personally remember the old Detroit shows as well as those that have only heard of them - would enjoy seeing a few favorite pages from the 1982 convention program.
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