The Big Apple was like a freezer when, Wednesday (January 23rd 2013) my flight landed to JFK airport. Big mistake i did while a made the reservation of my flight. Instead to choose the flight for Newark i have choosen the one that landed to JFK.
I wanted to get to Somerset as soon as possible, so just the time to smoke a cigarette (after nine hours of flight i needed it!!) and i went directly to the Taxi lane.
“How much is it for Somerset?”
The Indian Taxi driver took a book and after 10 minutes spent finding the place i was asking for he said : “ here we go…250 $ Sir”
“What?” came out suddendly from my frozen mouth…. “250 USD?”
“I don’t make the price, is the local association that does it” replied the nice indian driver.
“Ok tell to the guys who make the price that i won’t take the taxi”.
To the Touristic Welcome Point a kind girl suggested me to take a Shuttle service until Newark and from then a taxi to Somerset. So i did for a final cost of 100 USD.
So i got to the hotel late in the afternoon. My friend Steve was already there. When i got in the room he was checking his e-mail. The time to leave my buggages in the room and a nice long week end started.
The day after Chip, Jon, Chris and Robbie got to Somerset too so the company was complete…”Ok let the good times roll now!”
For me one of the most exciting thing to do when i do a fly fishing show is the booth set up. I like to jam on it, trying to figure out something brought to me by the ispiration of the moment. So once our Black Box was ready, i went outside and between a lot of cut Willow Trees (Pussy Tree? This is how Jon called it when he saw it) I have choosen a small one and I tooked inside the booth. The tree hosted for the 3 days the wonderful handmade nets made by my friend Todd Imnam and they did great.
We woke up on Friday morning with a light snow falling down. The show started around 10 o’clock. In the afternoon Cathy came to pick up her rod. We spent a nice time this past September fishing my home rivers in Italy and she ordered me a custom rod for her to be delivered at the Somerset show, and so we did.
This year on my booth i had also Diane Michelin’s original prints and as usual Phoenix Silk Lines.
The atmosphere is great as usual to the Somerset Fly Fishing Show. Lots of exhibitors and lots of visitors who during the 3 days was walking between the rows of the show, looking at the wonderful stuff displayed on the several booths.
Despite the number of people was quite similar to the last year show it seemed to me that the Hurricane of the past november has hardly hit the soul and the wallet of the New Yorkers. As usual when i do the shows the time seems to fly away to fast and this is quite normal when you’re doing something you really like to do. Talking with people about my rods, talking with some Italians that several years ago moved to US to live the american dream (some of them succeeded on it some other no, but both of them show always a great love and nostalgia for their origins), meet and talk with great names who attend the show, take people to cast my rods etc.
This year i had the great honor to meet and talk with Tom Dorsey (T&T) and Pir Brandin (whom i consider the best bamboo rodmaker in activity). Actually i met Pir Brandin first time a couple of years ago in Italy, during the Italian Bamboo Rodmakers Gathering. With Tom Dorsey i just exchange some words and idea about rodmaking. With Pir Brandin i spent a nice half hour in the car parking, casting one of my rod. I always thought that the great men are no braggarts. In fact when i asked to Pir Brandin to cast one of my rod he say yes, but he didn’t want to cast it on the Hero Casting Pool. I immediatly understood and agreed with him so we went outside.
Usually when the show is over a little of sadness come in my heart. This year wans’t like that. The last night before leaving i had the opportunity to meet and share some drink with Allen Landheer and John Collins, so between some nice beer and great conversations, the time flew away and it was already the time to get back to JFK to fly back to Italy.
So thanks to all the friend (old and new) i had the chance to meet to the show and thanks to the people who decided to stop to our booth (this year we had a nice big space shared with Willow Classic Reel, Klondike Rod Company and Andes Drifters) to buy our stuf, or simply to look at them.
See you new next year Somerset!!!