Walter Gosden has provided this memory of the "Iron Range Days"at the Long Island Automotive Museum in Southampton. (Photo: September 1982;Left to Right: Walter McCarthy, Walter Gosden and Henry Austin Clark, Jr.).
These are photos of the loft above the Long Island Automotive Museum, lots of stuff still there so it must date from the mid to late 1970s and was during one of the (by invite) "Iron Range Days". Note the narrow path to walk down, poor lighting and hundreds of brass side and tail lamps hanging from the ceiling. The shelves held more brass lamps (usually head lamps) horns, all kinds of stuff. There were also rims and lock rings on the floor but not too many as most were out in the truck barn out back.
The Iron Range Days were usually in the spring and in the fall, notification by post card, or phone call. I recall many times getting a call around 8:30 pm on a Friday night from Austin saying " I guess we should have an Iron Range Day tomorrow, maybe we should call a few people to let them know it’s on". So I would make some calls and either I or Austin would call Walter McCarthy to let him notify people as well. Collectors who lived in south New Jersey would d sometimes groan (well maybe often times groan) about the last minute decision, but didn't miss it and would drive up to look around, somewhat bleary eyed. The deli just west of the museum did a major business in coffee those Saturdays.
At 12 noon sharp Austin would announce "time for lunch, lights out" and if you were in the end of the loft up against the front of the museum wall you scrambled to make it to the stairs before the lights were turned out and it went pitch black. That narrow path to walk down was not forgiving if you stepped off it into some parts. Lunch was at 'John Ducks', and the men's room kind of got trashed with everyone trying to wash the dust and grime off their hands before we all went to the bar and Austin announced that the first two drinks were on him and lunch was Dutch treat. He would come over and tell me; "Spread the word we are in one of the side rooms so as not to scare off the locals". Austin's choice for lunch and mine as well was the shrimp salad sandwich on pumpernickel bread or when in season the bay scallops. The coleslaw was piled high in bowls on the table and was the best in the world.
After lunch we all staggered ....er well, drove back to the museum and settled up to pay for the pile of bits we had picked out. Prices were always reasonable. My largest purchases were not car bits but a heavily carved oak library table that was in the front entrance and a year later a matching china cabinet in the area closest to the shop. That table serves me to this day as my desk where I write my articles and do my research.
Walt, thanks for the memories!