Cakes, cards, classics and collectors!
That could have been the theme for Saturday’s Super Bowl Weekend Card Show – formerly the Cranston Collector’s Show - that filled Coventry High School’s spacious C. Arthur Flori Gymnasium to capacity and served as a tribute in part to founder Tom McDonough.
“Our show was much, much bigger than expected,” offered Mike “Mango” Mangasarian, who chaired the 41st show and took over the reigns from McDonough who ran the event for 40 years without interruption and was honored with a cake from all of the 100 dealers Saturday and Sunday. “Needless to say, Tom was surprised and touched.”
Mango, who was once a teacher-coach at CHS, added, “I think the buzzing crowds Saturday (and Sunday) are the true reflection of the reputation that Tom built; that’s why we had dealers from as far away as New Jersey and New York and we’ll be back next year bigger and better, too.”
The energetic Mango, who announced that the show will be held Feb. 1 and 2 in 2020, said “we’ve been asked if there could be a semi-annual show … after the National-Regional event in August.”
Few card and collector’s shows, though, will be able to match the buying and selling that took place during 14 hours the event operated last weekend.
That’s because New England Patriots and Tom Brady memorabilia were in high demand and Joe Hutchinson, who Mangasarian said deals in gorgeous framed autographed pictures said he sold every Patriots item he had and wished he brought more.
“His display was bigger than Mantle and Williams,” the director added while referring to Baseball Hall of Fame immortals Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams. “And that came as no surprise to many of us who have been involved in previous shows Tom (McDonough) ran.”
Even veteran dealers like Bruce Ewart, a long-time show participant who lives in Rhode Island, was overwhelmed that he sold his entire table an hour after Saturday’s opening.
Then there were legends like Boston Bruins Hall of Famer John Bucyk, former Celtics Kevin Stacom and Leon Powe, Ernie D of PC fame, former World champion boxer Vinny Paz and noted sorts cartoonist Frank Galasso who continuously signed autographs for admirers or all ages.
Likewise, some of the show’s success was credited to adults volunteer and member of St. Vartanatz Church who performed a number of necessary and appreciated duties like manning booths while dealers took a break to even taking orders and getting their lunches.