The 68th annual convention for the American Vecturist Association was held in Oak Creek, WI on August 2nd through August 5th, 2018. What fun we all had. It was a great meeting to catch up with fellow collectors, which I consider good friends and their spouses. Catching up on events that have occurred over the past year is always such a plus when getting together.
We started the convention with a board meeting on August 2nd. It was a very productive board meeting that was open to everybody including non-Board Members. During the board meeting, we decided that all the wives of members would be honorary members if they would like. Rich Mallicote, the president of our organization, will become the Convention Chairman with the assistance of two of the wives. My wife loved this since restaurants and shopping with the wives in a fun city is very important!! We also decided to invite local coin clubs to trade, sell and swap with us at future conventions.
On August 3rd, we started our annual token-exchange in a private room in the hotel. Everyone was welcome. We stopped swapping rising for lunch and to get ready for a charter bus to pick us up and take us to our annual tour. This year we visited the East Troy Railroad Museum, and rode the East Troy Electric Railroad (the only remaining Electric Interurban Railroad in the country), which contains the remaining cars from the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Line, which, from the early 1900’s until the mid-1950’s served the three cities which make up its name. What a fun filled and informative railroad ride. After the ride was over, there were numerous restaurants in the area that whoever wanted to could choose to have dinner at. Again, fun was to be had!! My wife commented to me how she noticed how happy everyone was and all the smiles on everyone’s faces.
Saturday morning, at 9 AM, we had our annual auction of rare and hard to find transportation tokens. Afterward, we continued the token-exchange in our meeting room, then if you wanted to, you could go sight-seeing or shopping. This is one of the most beautiful areas in the Mid-west for sight-seeing and shopping. A lot of the spouses went to the Jelly Belly Factory for goodies and a tour. They also went to a cheese castle and shopped while the collectors did the token-exchange and the auction. Many of the spouses went on a walking tour in downtown Milwaukee and took pictures with a statue of “The Fonz”.
Saturday night we had our annual dinner. The ladies love the annual dinner, this is the part of the convention where they can get dressed up for the evening. Plenty of good food, laughing and just plain ole’ camaraderie was the theme of the evening.
Sunday morning we gathered for the Annual General Meeting. Members and non-members were in attendance. After the meeting, we took lots of pictures. With great sadness, we said our goodbyes and with a promise of “good times,” we look forward to the next convention.
On a personal note, my wife and I went to a Cubs game, a White Sox game, and a Brewers game while up there. Of course, we dined on ice cold beer and hot dogs at the games! We ran into a couple of fellow collectors at each ballgame. We also went to the Field Museum in Chicago.
Being a member of the AVA isn’t just about collecting and trading tokens, it’s more than that. It’s looking forward to going to the annual conventions. Going to different parts of the United States and learning all about the city that we visit. Seeing old and meeting new friends. Laughing and smiling for 3 – 4 days with people who share a common interest.
Try it, you’ll like it!!