History of The Porky Show
The Porky Show originated in the early 1980’s in the backyard of a home in Van Nuys, California. The next couple of shows took place in a church reception hall also in Van Nuys, California. Outgrowing the church about 1986, The Porky Show relocated to the Sierra Madre Recreation Center, allowing for about 42 tables. The next several shows were held in Sierra Madre, until the demand for tables and walk in foot traffic exceeded what Sierra Madre could comfortably provide for collectors.
Therefore, beginning in 1993, The Porky Show moved to its present location at Taylor Hall in Claremont, California. In Claremont table availability expanded to 80, and still resulted in a sellout! In the years that followed, table capacity was increased to 88, then 96, and finally stretched to its present maximum capacity of 104 tables; still resulting in a sellout each and every year!
The Porky Show primarily exists as a fundraiser for the Claremont Police Explorer Post. All proceeds are donated to fund educational training opportunities for these youngsters. Funds raised through The Porky Show event support underprivileged teens in attending a variety of explorer functions, which ultimately has a positive benefit on the local community. All current Porky hosts are unpaid volunteers, who work throughout the year to bring what we hope will be an enjoyable experience for police and fire collectors, who support this worthy cause.
Tell us About Your Porky Experience!
In 1983, I was a young officer at Hanford PD, and had met Russ Snow, who was a Sergeant at the Kings County Sheriff’s Office, and assigned to the jail. Russ, a long time collector, had gotten me interested in patch collecting, and we had gone on several patch runs, taking us into Tulare and Fresno counties and to various departments.
Russ had told me about the Porky meet, and we planned on going to the show, which was being held at St. Bridgett’s church in the San Fernando Valley. This would be my first show, and I was looking forward to going for several months. Then one of my aunts died the Monday before the show.
I debated whether I should go or not. This was a relative I hadn’t seen in a number of years. Still, I felt that if I didn’t go, it would probably upset her husband. The Wednesday before the show, he died.
It was a sign. Since he was gone, I felt that no one would notice I wasn’t there. Russ and I went to the show, and I was hooked. I attended every Porky until 2006. This was a very dark time for my show attendance.
In mid 2005, I received a call from my youngest daughter. She told me that she and her boyfriend had decided to get married, and the date was the third Saturday in January 2006, which was the day of the Porky show.
I told her that was great news, but I wouldn’t be able to go, since I had plans. She became quite upset on the phone, and hung up. A few minutes later my wife called and informed me that I would be going to the wedding, and Porky would have to wait until the next year.
Although I sold my collection in 2008, I haven’t missed a show since. I was in the hobby for over 25 years, and the closest friends I’ve ever had I met in the hobby. I continue to talk to them on a regular basis and still go to shows, especially Porky.
Recently, I was asked what the awards were that are given out for the various displays at Porky. The following was provided by host Dennis Smith: