Herald-Journal
Herald and Journal, August 24, 1998

It's Saturday at the auction

By SUE FINK

Last Saturday, I spent the day at an auction. I hadn't been to a farm auction in a long time. I had forgotten just how exhausting spending money can be.

Tom enticed me into going to the sale by telling me there were a lot of household items and toys. I was hoping I would find something to add to my doll collection.

We got to the auction a few minutes early so we had time to check out the items laid out on big tables for the sale. I was disappointed to see that there were only three dolls. Two of them were Precious Moments dolls. The other doll was called Sour Grapes. She had never been taken out of the box. This was a doll I needed for my Strawberry Shortcake collection. I had to buy this doll!

The auctioneers split into two rings, one selling the farm items, and the other the household goods. Sour Grapes came up pretty early in the auction. She was up for sale with a little baseball glove. I didn't really need the glove, but I was determined to get the doll. I managed to get the two items for $8. I was happy that there wasn't anyone else there that wanted to add her to their collection.

If I had been smart, I would have quit then and gone home. I would have gotten a lot more done at home that day. I could have cleaned up some of the junk there instead of buying more to cart back to the farm.

I did need that old wheelchair with the rattan seat that I spent $20 on. That old Betamax VCR was a steal for $4. I wonder if it works?

Of course, Tom had talked up the auction to our daughters, too. Our oldest daughter, Sara, was there with her three boys. Our daughter, Gina, came later with son, Ethan. Ethan is only six months old, but one of the items Gina was there to bid on was a little pedal tractor. His dad had seen the items for sale the day before and decided Ethan needed a tractor.

Our daughter, Maria, and her husband, Henry, came with our granddaughter, Mattie. It is always great fun to see the grandkids. We cruised around looking at the boxes and bags of junk laid out for inspection.

There was quite a bit of furniture. My husband, Tom, wanted the oak filing cabinet, and a pinball machine that were on my end of the auction, so I was instructed to bid on those items for him.

After the auction split into the two rings, Nathan, my grandson, came over and told me, "Grandma, you are supposed to bid up to $150 on the pinball machine."

"Are you sure, Nathan?" I asked.

I guess I hadn't realized just how badly we really wanted a pinball machine. We didn't go home with the pinball machine, though. I bid all the way up to $175, which I had set for my limit as the bidding progressed. Eleven-year-old Nathan was at my side during the bidding.

As I passed the $150 mark he kept saying, "Grandma! Grandma!" Was he worried because I was bidding too much, or because this great toy might go to someone else? My limit came and went, and the pinball machine went to the bidder with $180.

Both Sara and I had our eyes on a birdbath. She claimed rights to it because she saw it first. I thought it was time for a little "Let's Make a Deal." She collects Precious Moments dolls. I told her I wouldn't bid against her on the dolls if she left the birdbath to me. Of course I was just kidding. I wouldn't resort to such maneuvering just to outbid my child.

Tom was right, there were a lot of toys at the auction. Most of them were scale model tractors and implements. I collect a lot of things, but tractors aren't one of them. It took quite a while to sell those big boy toys.

Periodically as the auction progressed, we checked back with Tom to see how he was doing. He had three piles of items he had bought already. Nathan had already relayed the sad news about the pinball machine.

Sara had bid on a couple of milk cans she wanted for her porch. I mentioned that there were more way down the hill and the auctioneers were progressing toward them. On our end, they were moving slowly toward the birdbath.

It is a completely unfounded rumor that I sent Sara to bid on the milk cans, while I stayed there and bid on the birdbath. I was sure she would be back in time. Really! So help me or I'm a dirty bird!

Tom says it's ugly, but I think that birdbath looks just fine standing out on our front lawn.


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