Vendor Registration: 713-649-0922


Pate Swap Meet - How It Began


as told by Pete Reinthaler, seasoned veteran participant of Pate Swap Meet

''At the Pate Swap Meet in 2006, my Company sent me, as an assistant, a very young man who had never been away from the Middle Atlantic States. I suspect that this was some sort of initiation, in that this kid was not only being sent to an area as remote from the Northeast as one can get without a passport where the folks talk funny and eat strange foods but also to accompany Old Pete, who runs a most unorthodox show. I am employed by a major antique auto insurer, to publicize their wares at swap meets across the country. It is tough duty to be paid to attend swap meets, but somebody has to do it, and I was fortunate enough to be elected. This young man called me and asked what sort of clothing he should bring, and that set off the speech that I have made annually to myriad car clubs in the Early Spring. The weather at Pate will be extreme. At the present, we do not know extreme what Bring shorts and light shirts for extreme heat. Bring winter wear for extreme cold. Bring lots of rain gear. Be prepared for high winds and mud. Bring it all, as you may need all of it in one weekend For about twenty years, I told the folks that I had seen everything there but snow, and then it finally snowed In fact the kid didn't listen (what kid does?) and arrived prepared for Saharan heat, and ended up borrowing cold weather gear from me, before the tornados hit.

That wasn't our first bout of tornados either, and set me recollecting, as an old man will, about Pate in its early days. To begin with, it wasn't originally called Pate . It was the South Central Swap Meet, and was organized by Barney Calvert of the Gulf Coast Region AACA out of Houston. The Gulf Coast Region had it s own swap meet, as did many of the other clubs that now participate in hosting the Pate meet, and the thought was that if we could just combine our forces, we might establish something in Texas that could well rival the AACA meet in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The Houston club had to admit that they did not have a proper venue for this activity. If you draw a 500 mile circle with Houston as its centre, one really ends up with an effective semi-circle, as the fish in the Gulf of Mexico make very poor customers for our vendors. Accordingly, Barney started canvassing the North Texas area, and eventually sought assistance from a number of car collectors in the area, one of which was Aggie Pate, President of the Texas Refinery Company, that owned an Employee recreation ranch south west of Fort Worth, near the village of Cresson.

Cresson is a village of a few dozen hardy souls, a church or two, a post office, gas station, and Jody's No. 2 Grocery (never did find Jody's No. 1), which had a meager selection of dusty cans of foodstuffs, and lots and lots of beer. The Texas Refinery Company Recreation Ranch also housed Mr. Pate's private automobile collection housed as the Pate Museum of Transportation, and his family chapel, as well as living quarters for the Pate family and staff. These buildings were fenced off from grazing grounds for Mr. Pate's herd of longhorn cattle.''

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