A while back in this discussion,
the subject turned to pitchmen. If you remember, a video was
offered on Jack Nyberg, possibly the best Jam Auctioneer
alive today. Well, from what I saw and recorded at the Salem
Fair, I would have to say that Jack truly lives up to the
title of the BEST. He began building his tip with a magic
trick of turning 10-$1.00 bills into 10-$10.00 bills.
(around 9:00 PM) This produced a tip of approximately
50-persons. He then began with a ticket to everyone in the
tip for a door prize. This followed with the standard
plastic juicer and Zippo, I mean "chee-po" lighter give
always as he handed out the paper bags so that he could
pitch the lighters and juicer right into your folded down
bag. He offered a silver metallic picture of the Last Supper
that he was supposed to sell for a quarter. Before the night
was over, I saw a woman pass up a $50.00 bill for this
picture. I have no idea as to the cost of the picture, but I
would say less than $10.00. Maybe, much less!
To get his potential marks qualified to buy, he used the
standard Ginsu knife which he sold to 26-persons for $5.00.
(over a $100. profit right there) "The knife is your
'ticket' to buy any of the higher priced items on display.
Please hold your knife high so that I can see it", said
I did make an audio recording of over an hour of his
excellent pitch. In case any of you guys are in VA or NC or
close buy, Jack informed the tip that he would be at the
Hillsville, VA Flea Mkt. over Labor day right beside the
State Farm Building. In case you have never been to this
small mountain town on the NC border, this Flee Mkt. has
thousands of vendors and covers the entire town for miles.
Of course since you are so pleased with your purchases, you
are "to please tell all of your friends and neighbors".
I'm sorry to say that John Bradshaw, a fellow Virginian, Jam
Auctioneer and friend was not able to make the trip with me
to Salem. John was going to be Jamming in Big Island close
by, but he told me his deal fell through. I just finished
working a 4th of July Fireman's Festival in Buchanan for the
26th straight year with my Scale Joint. John and I had
tentatively made plans to go to Salem together if we could
find an "open night" when we both were not
working. I have already sent John an email informing him
that Jack will be in Hillsville on Labor Day.
In addition, since I wasch with my girlfriend and her
daughter, who did not appreciate my standing and recording
the Jam Auction all night, I did not get to talk to Jack
after the show. He was still going strong at 10:45 PM.
Terrific pitch to say the least. If you like pitches, you
need to order the video of Jack in action. ('The Gee Whiz
Durand 228 State St. Madison WI. 53703 Ph. 608 255-7996 or
try Little Luxuries Janice's shop 214 State St. Madison, WI
As a foot note, the Deggeller midway looked first class, as
always. I don't think I saw a light bulb not burning. (No Drom or sideshows on the lot this year.) The Salem Fair is a
free fair and is being billed as "the second largest Fair in
Virginia". Terrific promotion by the Salem Civic Center
manager, Cary Harveycutter who built this Fair from
literally nothing almost 20-years ago.
Post Script I purchased
a copy of the Gee Whiz Kid and visited with Janice Durand a
few months ago. She told me if there was interest in
the video she would produce more copies. I would
recommend the Gee Whiz Kid to anyone interested in the art
of the Jam Pitch. John Robinson Sideshow World.