When I say I have been into airsoft for a long time,
I really mean a looooooooooooong time.
Now, back in 1987 , the SHOT show was a whole lot smaller than the behemoth it has become,
here are some pic's taken from the over-walk in the Riverside center in New Orleans.
Realtree has a 10ft inline booth, Federal really stepped up with a 20x30
You can see Safarilands 20x20 end cap booth,
Crosman had a huge display, of course no where near today's size.
That was just about the entire show, I have not been able to find how many vendors were there, but it was not a huge number.
Now here was our booth, Airsoft, brought to you by Command Post
No aeg's ( they had not been made yet), some "Classic" ( now days) MGC guns.
Lots of spring TM's and such.
On the left side is the Para Ordnance Model 85 paintball sub gun, yes para got into the bizz by 1st making a primer propelled full auto paintball gun, a few years later they had the idea for a double stack 1911 frame, and the rest was history .
That is Laurence ( Larry) Lee Littlefield in the monkey suit.
The founder of Command Post and a hell of a guy to work the trade shows with.
How about that display?
The paint was still wet when we loaded it into the suburban to drag it to New Orleans.
You have to love the magic marker signs, made up just for SHOT
We were right across from a 10x10 booth that was selling some strange looking knives,
Spyderco, I think the name was, I don't think they ever caught on.
Me in Jackson Square after set up, yes, I was young once.
Now some pictures of Command Posts command center.
We started in a two room office, moved to a house that had been converted to a law firm and then ended up in a three story old department store on the main drag of Crestview FL.
This was the sales center, we put the money into inventory and computers,
not so much in ambiance.
My office, 1987 and yes, in 2011 my desk at home looks just like that, in fact I am using the same computer!
I wish I remembered what model those were, I know that they cost us and arm and a leg back then.
If you expand the pic and look close, you can see the stacks of Tokyo Marui springers in the black and silver boxes. The daisy boxes in the foreground are part of the huge amount of "soft airs" that we had.
Daisy only marketed them for a year or so, we bought all of their inventory when they shut down the line.
I think it was about two box cars full, yes we had a train spur at the back door and got a lot of our freight via railroad, not kidding about this, it was a lot cheaper way to ship.
We used to get paintball by the boxcar from R P Shear,
man that was a mess if the boxes had shifted during travel.
I will try and get the catalog scanned after the North Atlantic Airsoft Expo is over,
Will be updating from the Expo each day,
I know I said that when I went to SHOT, but this one is close to home.
Just a couple more pic's to suffer thru, hey old men like to reminisce.
Massad Ayoob ( Google him) shooting a Para Ordnance model 85
Paintball subgun at the Trail Glades range in Miami in 1987 during a LFI 1 course.
Ernie Franco (great knife fighting instructor and a super guy, RIP)
Lynn Thompson (Founder Cold Steel knives) and I at Epcot center Orlando in 1988 (I think).
Ernie could cut you six ways from Sunday before you could even blink,
I learned a lot from that man, he was truly a super guy that died too early.
Lynn was a trip then, and if you have seen any of his you tube Cold steel proof vids,
he still is now.
Man, was I ever that young.
See you tomorrow,
Stay Thirsty My Friends.