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What's Vandelia look like?

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by joe blow, Jul 14, 2007.

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  1. joe blow

    joe blow TS Member

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    Going on a trip near Vandelia on Monday. Wondering what I will find.
     
  2. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    a park with 1 building....
     
  3. buzzgun

    buzzgun Member

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    You don't want to go there. The place is gutted.

    The only place you can go in is the Hall of Fame entrance. You drive into a chain-link fenced area of approx. 1 acre surrounding the ATA office building, like some kind of "Green Zone" which you can't get out of. Everything outside of that...well, it's GONE. You won't recognize it, we'll put it that way. Everything's tore up, the sidewalks and shooting concrete gone...there's a big honkin' paved airport access road curving around where the shootoff bleachers used to be, heading straight out towards the airplane hangars. All you can do is walk around back of the ATA office building, go upstairs to the old balcony (the only, and I mean only, part of the place you will recognize), and look out over...what isn't there anymore. No pop-corn crackle of guns. No tractor engines. No slutty teeny-boppers in "Butler Kickline" shirts sunning their thighs on the grass. All in your horny imagination - nothing else.

    The first time I ever walked up on that balcony, I was a local kid attending a training class for pullers and loaders. I thought I'd still be hanging around those bleachers with a gun in my hands when I was 75. Little did I realize I'd see the graveyard of trapshooting history bulldozed before I was 40.

    Trust me, you don't want to see it. Spare yourself the misery. I didn't, and I was sorry. It's like looking at one of your relatives laying in a coffin. I would rather remember them alive.

    Felt like I wanted to puke afterward. Positively, physically ill. If there were a sign that said "Treblinka," the feeling would have been just about right.
     
  4. Pres. 86

    Pres. 86 TS Member

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    Jul 2, 2007
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    That is very good advise. For the past (30) years I have attended every Grand American. My first memory of Vandalia was when I took my son there to shoot when he was a Sub-Jr.

    From that day forward, the annual trip to the Grand was like the pilgrimage to Mecca. I feel so blessed to have experenced the history of the Grand...and left there with so many fond memories. They say "History repeats itself", but I don't believe there will ever be another Vandalia.

    Bob Gioia
     
  5. skrap

    skrap Member

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    The sad part about looking at the grounds today is that there is nothing left that would remind us or tell the story about what took place here for over 80 years. I have always enjoyed the clay target sports (yes even skeet) and when I moved to Vandalia in the 90's, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. This was the place, twice a year the best trap shooters would be here. The anticipation for the Grand was like being a little kid with Christmas. On mornings that I went to work earlier than normal, 4:30am, I could see the doors open and the lights on in the maintenance building and knew they were getting ready. I couldn't wait.

    The worst day was the following Monday after the last Grand. They started tearing out the trap houses then ripping up the pads. That was when you knew for sure that it was over.

    Now we move on. I don't know if I will ever attend a Grand in Sparta, maybe or maybe not. I do want to make to places like the Missouri Fall Handicap, the Southwestern Grand, and the PA State Shoot. The Cardinal Center here in Ohio is a great place to shoot. So what we don't have here in Vandalia anymore is missed, but there is still alot more for me to experience shooting trap.

    skrap
     
  6. frostyman

    frostyman Well-Known Member

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    missouri
    Don't let your feelings for Vandalia hold you back from going to Sparta. It's kind of like a new car. You might have liked the old one but once you got the new one you like it better. They had to move somewhere but some people wish it had been somewhere else than Illinois. Just go to Sparta and you will see what a great place it is.
     
  7. Jawhawker

    Jawhawker TS Member

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    buzz, I think I'll take your advice..

    I still remember the first day I was ever on the grounds at Vandalia. In what is now the Hall Of Fame and standing in line to enter. I hopefully will retain that memory the rest of my life as it is very special! All the mystic that I had learned about the Grand was finally "comming_to_light". This 13 year old was in total amazement of his surroundings.

    I also started seeing the legends as I walked the grounds and even though I have always been shy, actually stopped, introduced myself, and conversed briefly with several.
     
  8. K-80 Jim

    K-80 Jim TS Member

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    What's Vandalia look like?

    This is an old picture from February of 2006 but it looks about the same. The trap houses are all gone and there are a few buildings left toward the West end.

    Shoot well,

    Jim
     
  9. ec90t

    ec90t Guest

    Good Lord,

    I would have thought by now, all you shooters scared of change would have gotten over it. I guess that since they moved it, the competition is somehow less than it was before. The Grand will allways be grand no matter where it's at. It's a damn good thing that shooters don't feel the same way about a new gun, all the gunmakes would be out of business by now!

    ec90t
     
  10. K-80 Jim

    K-80 Jim TS Member

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    ec90t,

    That was pretty rude and just who are you the thought police? If someone wants to reminisce about the great times they had it's none of your business. Let's talk about who's really scared! Why is it you and guy's like you start shaking at the knees and wet their pants every time you hear or read the name Vandalia? Why does that frighten you to the point that you feel the need to jump on here and squash the conversation?

    Jim
     
  11. slide action

    slide action Well-Known Member

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    ec90t,--- I will probably always attended the Grand and I will MOVE On, but there will always be a sadness about losing Vandalia. Just because I make new friends doesn't mean I don't greatly miss an old friend when they die! Vandalia had a special magic about it and most anybody who shot and visted there will attest to that. Sparta is a very nice facility, but nothing will dim the memories of Vandalia for me. Maybe you never shot there, or just don't feel the way many of us do about it, either way those of us who loved Vandalia will always miss the place. It's sort of like them tearing down and hauling away your home town. Before his untimely death, Dick Baldwin put it best in the last chapter of his book "The Road to Yesterday" about the dsadness he felt about not going back to Vandalia. We will shoot at the New Grand, make new friends and new memories, but alas, the ghost of Vandalia will always live in our hearts. I am just glad I got to be part of it!
     
  12. ec90t

    ec90t Guest

    Jim & Frank C,

    It's allways the same conversation: Don't go there, Sparta will never be Vandalia, I'm not going to the Grand anymore since they moved it, etc.

    The Grand American Handicap is an event, not a place. It just happened to be held in the same place for a few decades. It is an event that can be contested by amatuers and non-amatures alike, there are no professionals in the ATA just ask them.

    I go past what used to be fields and woods that I played in and hunted when I was young, but now are just houses. I don't loose sleep over it or afraid to drive by it.

    Rememberance and fondness is one thing, whinning is another action entirely!

    ec90t
     
  13. skrap

    skrap Member

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    K-80 Jim, Slide action, & Frank C

    Some people just don't to get it.

    skrap
     
  14. Frank C

    Frank C Well-Known Member

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    Hey EC90T stop WHINING about people who like to remember the GOOD times. Neither Jim or I mentioned or even hinted ANYTHING about telling people NOT to go there???

    We are tired of your type that becomes SO defensive and whinney about about Sparta!

    I went last year to Sparta and am going again this year, I guess I just preferred, and had a better time in Ohio than last year in Sparta. (Sorry, whine all you want but this remains a fact)

    And by the way after the shooting is over for the day, which takes what, about an HOUR, you have, at least by my watch, 23 hours to fill, so going to the Grand is, I am afraid a lot more than just the shoot. For someone that takes a week, maybe two of there vacation to go somewhere, they sure would like to have a good time, day and night, for the shooter as well as for the non shooter(s) that may be with him/her. sheesh stop putting words in our mouths. FC
     
  15. Mr. Professional

    Mr. Professional TS Member

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    I live in a town right outside vandialia. The hall of fame and the ATA office is still all there, heck there might even be some traps out front, i dont know i dont pay attention anymore. some of the vendor buildings are still there with "perazzi" and such still on the back of them. its kinda lame about what they are doing with the property, but there are still a lot of very good memories at that place that will be there regardless.

    Walter Reaster
     
  16. primer

    primer TS Member

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    I might go or not go to Sparta, I don't know. I know in the 35 years I went to the grand it was not just a place to shoot. I looked forward to seeing people I didn't see any other place. I have been told Sparta is a super place to shoot and I am sure it is, but it will never have the feeling of Vandelia. Let us old folks pass on and Vandelia will be but a picture on a wall but until then, I will remember the people, the joy and the fun, so please don't put me down for my memories. I hope ec90t you have as many good memories of Sparta as I of Vandelia. Good Luck
     
  17. The Rock

    The Rock Active Member

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    ec90t


    You may never understand if you don't get it by now.


    Mr. Professional: They think that we OHIO shooters are boycotting Sparta. What they do not realize is the amount of shooters within driving distance of Vandalia. And that Sparta for us working stiffs is almost a impossibility to make it to the way we did Vandalia. 15-20 min and we are home.


    Rock

    Jim
     
  18. Mr. Professional

    Mr. Professional TS Member

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    jim the rock,

    look at the attendance for the years past and it really backs up what you are saying, seriously. then look at sparta's attendance of last year for ohio shooters, and then for the attendance of illinois shooters.
     
  19. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

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    Wish I could have seen it...
     
  20. AJ100

    AJ100 TS Member

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    Second year of reg. targets. FIRST year at the Grand. Prelim Thursday. 24 YRD line, 3250 entries.

    One 98, and six of us with 97's in a shootoff (IN FRONT OF THE FRIGGIN GRANDSTANDS YET) for the other silverware and money.

    Yea, I'm going to forget that. You have to be some kind of idiot to think that those of us that loved Vandalia wouldn't think about the place around this time of the year. IDIOT is being kind.

    90t, if we were standing face to face on the balcony right now and you told me to get over it, I would just smile and ask you if you had ever won anything at Vandalia.

    Then I would probably just tell you "BITE ME, you booger eating moron".

    "Just doesn't get it?"

    You all will NEVER explain that kind of feeling to someone like him.

    AJ100
     
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