HEY, DO YOU ENJOY attending auctions? Ever heard of a consignment hay auction? I hadn’t either, until Saturday morning when my family drove through Clear Lake en route to St. Cloud.
We were waiting for a train to pass through town when I noticed pick-up trucks parked near the Clear Lake Farmer’s Elevator and some guys loitering next to a stack of hay. My husband quickly spied the hay auction sign to his left.
I quickly pulled out my camera because I recognized this small-town occurrence as something worth photographing, but which likely never has been photographed.
The whole scene had a Garrison Keillor quality about it, almost like we’d driven up to the Lake Wobegon Farmer’s Elevator.
It was something about the starkness and grayness of the setting, the way the men stood, the rural feel of the whole place that drew me in and kept me clicking the camera shutter.
When I saw the photos, I was pleased as punch with the results. Capturing snippets of small-town Minnesota life like this reconnects me to my rural roots and, in some small way, preserves an important part of our agricultural history.
© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling