Early yesterday morning (17 October)--about 2 am St. Louis time--I left the house and started the drive to Wichita, Kansas. The Chisholm Trail Scale Modelers chapter of the International Plastic Modelers' Society (IPMS) (https://www.facebook.com/groups/361294804031178) was hosting its annual Trail Con scale modeling contest and swap meet.
I had a full fuel tank when I left St. Louis, but knew I needed to make a fuel stop on the way. That, and stops along the way to get some food, energy drink, and use a restroom meant it was just after 9:00 am when I arrived at Midway Baptist Church (https://midwaywichita.com/), the show venue. Not counting the stops, the distance from home to the show site was 444 miles (714.5 km).
One of those stops was at the Matfield Green Service Plaza of the Kansas Turnpike (https://www.ksturnpike.com/), northeast of Wichita. After using the restroom there, I saw a memorial bust of Knute Rockne, the legendary University of Notre Dame football (https://und.com/sports/football/) coach in the early 20th century. Rockne and seven others were killed in an aircraft crash some 8 miles (12.9 km) away, near Bazaar, in 1931.
After arriving at Midway Baptist Church, I filled out the contest registration forms, paid my registration fee, and arrived in the sanctuary for the contest and vendor tables. I entered six models in the contest: three aircraft, two ships, and a space launch vehicle. I also left on the registration table some flyers for the IPMS/Gateway Regional in September 2021 (https://sites.google.com/view/ipmsgatewaychapter/home) and for next year's IPMS/USA National Convention in Las Vegas (https://www.natslv2021.com/).
Two club mates--Marion Morris and Jim Triola--were already there, selling kits from Morris' vendor table. I started walking around the room, eyeing the vendors' offerings, seeing the models entered so far in the contest, and buying six raffle tickets. I also chatted with some people there I knew, including the Chisholm Trail Scale Modelers' president and chapter contact, Jeff Cadenhead. He told me he had thought to cancel this year's show, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but he got enough interest from in and out of the club to put on this show. I would say he made the right call.
At Noon, the contest judges met in a side room for lunch--pizza from Little Caesars (https://littlecaesars.com/en-us/)--before going back into the sanctuary to start judging the entries. I helped judge Cars, Armor, and Dioramas, since I didn't have any entries in those categories. There were some superb entries in the contest and a good turnout overall yet judging went smoothly and swiftly. Awards for the top three in each category--medallions, with or without the neck ribbons--were placed by the honored entries.
I was pleasantly surprised that two of my entries placed third in their respective categories. My Turbulent placed in Ships--Submarines 1/401 or smaller, and the Jupiter-C Explorer 1 was honored in Space/Sci-Fi--Real Space Rockets.
The big honors went to Triola's 1:200 scale USS Hornet (CV-8) at Midway diorama. It won in Dioramas--Naval, Best Diorama, and Best of Show. I was so happy for Jim. This large diorama was easily the talk of the show.
I was tired on my feet throughout the day, and even yawned a couple of times, but I was so happy being in my element. I was also happy that I won three model kits and a book in the raffle. (I sold the book to someone who was most interested in this subject that I, so I got some money out of it.) I also bought two kits and a book from the vendors.
After the show ended, I packed up my kits and other gear, and said my goodbyes to Morris and Triola, and to Cadenhead. I packed my car with my stuff and began the long drive home just after 3:00 pm. After stops for fuel, food, and using the restroom, I arrived safely home around 10:20 pm. In just over 20 hours on the road and back, I covered 900.5 miles (1449.2 km). My Corolla gave me no problems at all the entire time.
Coming home, I saw on my smartphone that Saint Louis FC (https://www.saintlouisfc.com/) lost 2-0 at Louisville City FC in the USL Championship (https://www.uslchampionship.com/) Eastern Conference Semifinals. That ended the season for Saint Louis FC--and its existence. The team will fold, unable to continue operating due in part to the pandemic causing financial losses it could not recoup.
Overall, it was quite a good day for me, and I went to bed last night tired, but happy.