YEARS, MAYBE EVEN A DECADE or more, have passed since I attended an auction.
But once upon a time my husband and I frequented auctions, bidding mostly on furniture. Our prized dining room table came from a neighbor’s household and farm auction back in my hometown of Vesta. The matching chairs were from a sale near Morristown.
Auctions appeal to me for many reasons. There’s a certain camaraderie yet competitiveness, friendliness yet aloofness, thrill yet disappointment.
When you outbid someone or snare merchandise at a bargain price, it’s a heady feeling.
But it’s more than that. The rhythm of an auction, the mesmerizing cadence of the auctioneer’s voice, the slight nod of the head, the closeness of the crowd, the commonality of community, Styrofoam cups brimming with steaming coffee, all create an unforgettable experience.
Perhaps it’s time I attend an auction again.
© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
I think you conveyed the auction atmosphere perfectly! Years ago, when we were actually farming/milking, auctions were our source of needed equipment, fencing, etc, and just the thing to pass some pleasant time catching up on ‘news’. The weather could be hot/cold, sunny/not!, weekday/weekend……there would always be a crowd. Now, around here, auctions have gone “high tech” and you can view the items….and bid, once the designated date/time comes, without leaving your home. A sign of our times. Personal/face to face conversations were everywhere, now, not so much. PCs and cell phones/texting has removed much of the richness of such interaction. (Gone, too, are the “barn”/equipment shed dances, etc…..but we have covered that before!!)
Why did I not know that you and DH milked cows? I grew up on a dairy farm also. A lot of hard work and being tied to the farm…but a good life.
It’s just not the same is it, going online to view auction items. You totally understand auctions, that they are about more than just bidding on an item. They are also about a sense of community.
When we moved here in ’74 we knew we had a dairy barn, equip. shed, small livestock barn, sheep shed, etc, and figured we should “give it a whirl”!!!! Milked for 2 years, had sheep, chickens, steers, hogs/sows/feeders, bunnies, 4-H projects, etc, etc. Please, keep in mind DH and I are city kids!!!!!!!! And, oh yes, a couple of Shetland ponies for the boys and horses for us!!!!! LOL! Can you say “Green Acres” (w/o the $$$$)!!!!!????
“Green Acres” is the place for me. Farm livin’ is the life for me…
Wow, you had quite a variety of critters on your farm. That would have been interesting to witness two city kids attempting farming. I wonder what the neighbors were whispering.
Ya know…..the neighbors totally were “there for us” and we would ALL have a good laugh when stories were shared!!!! Most were totally incredulous that we would attempt what we did with absolutely no experience and no $$$$!!!! LOL!
What great neighbors!
Yup, they were. Most have passed and are deeply missed………………….
Sadly I only have painful memories of my one and only auction. It was to auction off the estate of my Aunt & Uncle, (my Dad’s twin brother). There was an auction after they were both killed in a car accident about 10 years ago. Lives gone too soon! But on a brighter note, I did get aunt Helen’s dinner plates and a vintage nut chopper. They were collectors whose house was full of many treasures 🙂
My dad has always loved auctions, not sure if he’s been to any since the one for his Brother’s estate.
Oh, Jackie, I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved aunt and uncle in such a tragic way. That had to be tough, especially for your dad. I can understand why you may not be interested in auctions given that experience.
I have not been to an auction since probably high school – talk about bringing back the memories for me today. I enjoyed hanging out with my dad, my grandpa and my uncles at auctions growing up:) I learned a lot about farming equipment/junk/rusty stuff – ha! Happy Day:)
I can only imagine the education you got. I don’t recall ever attending an auction while growing up. But I know that Dad went to them. I suppose he thought an auction was no place for a kid.
I was a kid that would beg and beg some more and not relent to just tag along:) My dad was funny because he told me to not make any sudden movements while at the auction – ha! I never bought anything by mistake, so I was allowed to tag along.
Your dad was wise to tell you that. I often worried that I would inadvertently buy something as I tend to “talk with my hands” as much as my mouth.
I am still a very animated person myself – ha!
My one experience with a farm auction was when my husband’s uncle passed a few years ago. He was quite old, so the auction was not a sad experience; it was really interesting to me, the city girl, to see how other farmers came from all over southern Wisconsin and northern Iowa to bid on Uncle Vernon’s farm equipment and tools and to feel that atmosphere of community. There was even a food stand. And Uncle Vernon had two huge horses (Percheron horses, I think) who watched the whole thing before they were taken to a new home at a neighbor’s farm. It all made quite an impression on me.
How fortunate that the neighbor got the horses. Yes, food stands are a major part of the auction experience. Glad you enjoyed the event.
I love going to auctions but haven’t been to one since we moved to Iowa other than Chris’s dad’s estate auction. There is always so much going on and so many characters that attend that I find myself watching people a lot more than bidding. 🙂
I don’t bid. I let Randy handle that. I, too, am a people watcher.
I took my Wife to an auction one time, but no body bid on her! Good thing, as I had a reserve on her for 100,000,000.00. She is worth everything to me, simply because she has to put up with me, and that isn’t easy with my warped sense of humor. There, I said it, Wives are the best thing to happen to men!!!
Ah, Allan, you just made my day. Thank you.
My one big experience in bidding at an auction was going to an art auction. The first painting that I dearly wanted,by Thomas Kincaid, I didn’t get as the price got too high. Then another one of his painting came up and while it wasn’t my favorite, I bid and got it. I’ve gone to local auctions which benefit the local humane society, so bidding got really high on many items. We still have auctions here in our small town; some furniture/antiques and at least once a year, large farm equipment auctions.
Sounds like you have ample opportunity to experience auctions.
I’ve only been to a small church basement one. I’m afraid of the real thing!! Afraid that I might buy a tractor by mistake. 🙂
I possess the same fear although I think the auctioneers know who’s truly bidding and who isn’t. Perhaps Colin would appreciate a tractor…
he would! A cheap one.
Is there such a thing as a “cheap” tractor?
No. Afraid not!