A last-minute success
Harrisburg, Pa., Apr. 8—The 30th annual National Swap Meet took place at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. Paul Jackson, CEO of Jam-On Productions, has held a fall swap meet for over 30 years, and in January when he was offered the chance to do the spring event at the same venue, he was up for the challenge.
With only three months to pull this off while doing the Daytona Bike Week Swap Meet in March, Paul had his crew handing out flyers at current events and he hit online marketing real hard. I don’t know how he did it but the main arena at the Maclay Street entrance was packed with vendors and motorcycles by 9:00 a.m. on show day.
The main sponsor was Susquehanna Valley Harley-Davidson which was well represented with clothing, parts and motorcycles on display. There were also tables, tarps, boxes and milk crates filled with old-school bike parts and new parts displayed from one end to the other of the large arena. Vendors came from places like New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Canada just to name a few areas represented.
The bike show had antiques, custom and stock motorcycles. I saw a restored 1941 Knucklehead, 1949 Servi-Car, Sportsters, custom-built choppers and drag bikes. Paul Plummer was here with his son Jason; they risk their life every time they straddle their dirt drag bike pushing over 700 hp! The dirt track where they race is 500 feet long and Paul covers that distance in 4.5 seconds doing 143 mph! What a thrill that must be! He has been doing this for 55 years and has over 500 trophies! What an accomplishment, and Paul does all the bike’s machine work in his basement.
Morgan’s House of Twins from York, Pennsylvania, and Custom Auto and Cycle from Olyphant, Pennsylvania, were just two of the custom builders present. Custom Auto and Cycle owner Jerry “Big Jer” Tully took home the Best of Show trophy with his custom built bike named “Nightmare,” a piece of art fabricated from metal by human hands. Bikers Have Rights lawyer Brad Tabakin has 13 bikes in his collection and the two that he brought to the show, a ’77 FLH Restomod and a 2013 custom Street Bob, took home trophies. My photographer friend Dave Bromum had three Sportsters at the show, a ’73, ’74 and ’76 that he’d restored in his basement; they took first- second-, and third-place trophies at the show.
Another thing that the promoter, Paul, did to build on family attendance was to have a face painter (Gina) and a clown (yours truly) to entertain the kids. I also saw a PTSD dog, Kamala, in training and walking around with trainer Sarah Derr. We need more of these animals and trainers to support our soldiers in need.
This show had a food stand that was serving during the whole show if you planned on camping out for a while to finish your bucket list. There was also a raffle at 3:00 p.m. give away $300 to a lucky winner, and when his name was called, Shawn from Maryland displayed his fan of $20 dollar bills.
If you missed this swap meet, Jam-On Productions will be back at the Farm Show Complex in November. And before that, during Biketoberfest, he also puts on a swap meet at the Daytona Flea Market.