Jack Nyberg at the Salem, VA Fair  

by Monty Bowman


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 Jack.

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 Kid', by
Janice Durand 228 State St. Madison WI. 53703 Ph. 608 255-7996 or try Little Luxuries Janice's shop 214 State St. Madison, WI 53703, 608-255-7372)

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.


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