If you've never been, you gotta go at least once. Depending on where you live it could be a long day if you decide not to stay at a nearby hotel but it's worth it. SHPC has been attending this event since around 2004 except for a couple years where the weather suggested it might not be prudent to make a journey of that distance. Prior to that we had attended the Meeting of the Mindless at Paul Bonaquisti's shop in NY and then it sort of transitioned to the event we know now which was held at the S.M Frank (Kaywoodie) factory for a number of years and is now being held at the Southern Dutchess & Putnam Sportsman's Association in Peekskill, NY.
This year's active member group consisted of Kevin, Tim, Nelson, Matt, Tom and JP. We were also happy to reunite with a blast from the not to distant past Bob Ormon (remember him??) and long time SHPC alumnus Andy Camire (who never misses this event).
Most of us met up at the Park and Ride in Auburn. Kevin was our driver for the 3rd year in a row and his willingness to drive is greatly appreciated and makes the drive so much more enjoyable for the rest of us, which is why we didn't bother him while he caught a few Zzzzs before the ride back. ;-)
As has become our custom, we stopped at the I84 Diner in Peekskill, NY for lunch and met up with JP. With bellies full we made the remaining 20-minute drive to the event.
Turnout was about average but there were less people selling their wares this year. It was good to catch up with all of the folks we've come accustomed to seeing each year. Tim and Kevin shared a table and made a few sales. I personally did plenty of perusing but only a little buying. There was plenty of McClelland tobacco for sale at premium prices (as you can probably imagine). None of us won the 50/50 raffle but the pot was over $300. We also opted to pass on the slow smoke contest this year in order to make it home a little earlier than usual. The short video included with this article is just a small sample of the fun you'll have at this event. If you'd like to see more, check out our YouTube channel for more indepth videos from other years.
Thanks to Bill Feuerbach and all those who help put this event together. It's always lots of fun.