I went to an auction today. Nothing new in that.
But I only stayed 10 minutes. That is new.
In the winter, auctions are scarcer than hen’s teeth. (I feel the need to use an old-time farm colloquialism here to show what an auction old-timer I am, though I’ve never heard a farmer, an auctioneer, or anyone else say that.)
I arrived an hour late, which is one way I control my bidding arm. I can’t buy what I’m not there to see auctioned.
I rambled the Legion hall and perused the tables of someone else’s belongings and then stationed myself behind a table of “choice” boxes that was about to go up for bid. That’s when my auction pal Jack said hi and handed me an old column of mine that he’d found the day before when he was cleaning up for a new furnace installation.
Though there was no date on the column, I know it ran in July 1989 because the column was about the auction at the house I bought and I closed on the house in July that year. Jack had hung onto the column because I mentioned him as “trying to accumulate every camera ever made.”
Just then, the auctioneer asked for bids to clear the table. The choosing on the choice table had left five or six boxes and the one I liked was still there, so I was in at a dollar, even though I had promised myself to stop clearing the table. (It’s kind of a loose New Years resolution I make every year and then break at the first auction I attend.)
Just as the auctioneer pronounced me the winner, another bidder objected that she thought she’d won the bid, so he opened it back up, asking if she would go $2 for the whole table of less-than-valuables.She would, I declined to bid $3, and I considered that a lucky escape as I was parked two blocks away and hadn’t looked forward to hauling all those boxes.
Then I took one last turn around the room and walked back out to the car. I had not bought a thing and the memory Jack had given me cost me nothing.
That’s a pretty good day at the auction.