I have been attending Hershey since 1971. My wife and our family joined me in 1974. We started vending the same year. When we started the Big Flats Rivet Co. in 1980, it became our primary product at Hershey, and our inventory grew every year.
Pat became known as the "Rivet Lady" and amazed people with her knowledge of the products. With her pleasant ways she would charm the customers and let me do a bit of "roaming". When I returned we would both work the booth and frequently I would answer questions and she would do the sales. We grew to have a booth that needed two people to attend.
Last year was the first year without Pat. I tried to run the booth alone. "Roaming" was out of the question. I do not have the cheery personality as Pat did and sometimes I may not have been, well, cheery. It is difficult to explain something about riveting while several people are waiting. People walk away without buying.
So, I'm making some changes for 2011. I will be in the same spot as before, but inventory of rivets and tools will be less, something a single person can handle. Possibly I'll bring some OLD CAR PARTS! I will be more than happy to "talk rivets" but I won't bring everything as we have in the past. If you know that you are going to pick up something at Hershey, you should order it beforehand, because it may not be there. Hours will be cut back as well, as I miss wandering. I'll try to have orders ready if you get them to me before October 1.
Please feel free to call or email your comments. Hershey is always something I look forward to, I'm just trying to adapt to the "new normal". Thanks, Jim