Joined: 13 May 2004
|Posted: Sat Sep 18, 2004 7:49 am Post subject: Cabin Fever! by Earl Braunco.
by Earl Braunco.
A four hour drive, South, out of Seattle on a rainy Friday afternoon with a pickup full of Bronco parts. "Max, this Cabin Fever idea of yours had better be good!"
Max never lies.
I rolled in to the site of "Cabin Fever", the fabulous and opulent Ultimate Manufacturing Pavilion, about 8:30. I was the first one there so I got set up in my spot and accepted Max's offer of a cold one. We spent the rest of the evening talking Bronco's and looking at the things of those that showed up. The highlight of the evening was when a beat up old cab showed up at the door. We were wondering who the hell would take a cab down to an industrial area in the middle of a rainy night when out came Matt Johnson. He used to live in Portland but his job had transferred him to Spokane. He'd been in need of a Bronco fix and hopped a plane down for the weekend. That's another good thing about these sorts of affairs, old friends showing up to chat. Max offered up his basement floor if Matt and I wanted to sleep there for the night and we accepted. Matt and I have shared slabs of granite on the Rubicon so Max's carpet would seem like the Waldorf. The fun part was piling in Max's work "limo" for the drive to his house. I'd always wondered about Max but that old station wagon with the hay in the back pretty much cinched it.
At five Max rolled us out and we headed back to the 'pavilion'. He was having a pancake breakfast and enlisted the help of his boarders. I made some coffee while Matt put his skill as an electrician for the Washington State DOT to good use in keeping all the circuit breakers from popping. I still want to know what that white gooey stuff was that Mike put in the center of my pancakes.
The best part of a gathering like this is sometimes not the stated reason but just the hanging out. As people started to show up and unload a bunch of Bronco fanatics would drift on over to scope out what was there, ask prices and make a few 'early deals.
There was a noticeable contrast in sales style. Right across from where I was, Casey Raymond had tables all set up with white linen table clothes. All of his merchandise was cleaned, polished and well maintained. He even made nice Cabin Fever price tags. He had good things at bargain prices. I on the other hand had tossed all my old, rusty, caked in mud brake drums, hubs, dented up fuel tanks, old springs, boxes full of greasy gears, and a little of this and that in the back of the truck. No prices, not a clue as to what the stuff was worth and when asked the stock answer was $5 or what have you got to trade.
There were plenty of the Early Bronco suppliers. I got to spend some time talking with Bob from All for Fun. He does some nice tube bending and fabrication. He had his extended radius arms and a bunch of other goodies on display. Suzanne Duff was there with her, now world famous, custom made and autographed buttons. I had ordered a replacement floor pan from Tom's Bronco parts and Lonnie brought it up for me along with some of their new small block valve covers to show off. Those things are fantastic. Cast aluminum with Bronco in the proper script, black anodized and the letters brushed off. He stopped by my truck and was eyeing some of the prime merchandise on display so I traded him a few things for a "Tom's Bronco Parts" hat and a T-shirt. I got the better end of that deal but don't fire him Tom he tried his best. Jon Hanson brought in a full roll cage he had promised to sell me, but someone offered him a few dollars more so he shafted me. Ok, so it wasn't exactly like that, but, "…that’s my story and I'm sticking to it"
As the trading day ended I loaded up my truck with the motor, soft to, roll bar, hat's and shirt, buttons and other treasures I had acquired. Like all swap meet's I headed home with more than I came with, so that next year I can tell my wife how I hate to go all that way in the rain, but I need to sell some of this stuff I have laying around.