Sunday, July 11, 2010

Going, Going . . . SOLD !

Local thrift stores are not the only places that folks in this area cars at auctionfrequent for  bargains. In case, I didn’t mention it before, the closest major retail shopping areas are at least a 90-minute drive, north or south.
So on weekends, a very popular local event is the estate auction, which is as much a shopping excursion as a social event. Depending on the estate size, a large auction can go on for most of the day.Lots of well-experienced auction goers ring their chairs; food and cold drinks are usually sold on-site.  During spring and summer, it’s not unusual to find several weekend auctions,generally held on Saturday; Sunday is a church day in these parts (we’re in the south, y’all).auction house
 sprague luggageThis weekend, Grenville and I went to a very large estate auction for a long-time area resident who died in March. This gentleman, William A. Sprague, was a retired Eastern Airlines captain and active with the local airfield, Campbell Field.  A man of diverse interests, he was also a ham radio operator with a radio tower in his front yard.
chester jackson (1) auction crowd

 auction crowds (2) auction crowds (5)

Before the auction starts, there’s the registration process where folks get their auction number. Auction start times are around 10 or 11 a.m. and continue until everything has been offered for auction. Everyone checks out what’s being sold, either as individual Items or in box lots. In case you’ve never heard this term, it means you bid one price on the contents of the WHOLE box, even if you’re only interested in a single item. Lots of times, box lot winners sort through the contents and leave “stuff” they don’t want. box lots (3) pre-auction (2)

box lots (5)
box lots (6)

box lots (4) chairs old (2)

 old dolls (1) old dolls (2)

chester jackson (6)An auction as large as this one required the services of two professional auctioneers, Chester and Henry. These men are excellent at their job and really kept bidding action moving along.
Henry auctioneer (3)

It’s always interesting to see what’s being auctioned – old bikes to household furnishings.

 bikes old furniture

 Items that draw large male crowds are tools and equipment . . . imagine that!
auction crowds (7) tools (3) yard tools tractors-etc (1)tractors-etc (5) 

 tools (1) railingstractors-etc (4) tractor lookers
grandpas finds (1)
This young boy was holding guard over his grandpa’s purchases. Below, this cart is being hauled with another group of auction “buys.”auction wins (2)
corkscrew gas pumps (1)

And just as in thrift stores – you never know what great deals you will find – bring along a sturdy trailer for these finds.stairs old
truck half
If you’re wondering what Grenville and I bought , the answer is – Not a thing. We left with only these photos.
But we spent a couple of chatting with folks we knew (this is a small area, remember?) and looking around at “stuff” we could live without.


Lois Evensen said...

My goodness, what a lot of "stuff!" Yes, we have our own "stuff" and don't need to buy more, either. :)

*looking around* I wonder where all this "stuff" came from????????

HermitJim said...

But it's all the "stuff" that keep the grand kids busy when they visit! Boxes and boxes of "stuff" to dig through instead of all the true "good stuff" hidden away!

Besides, how can you NOT buy something when you go to an auction? That's why I don't attend too many!

possum said...

Love those box lots! You would be surprised how much Wedgwood I collected for a buck a box! Once a 9 Inch vase! ONE buck! No cracks or chips, either. Best way to get them is look in the box, find something of value, turn up your nose, say "YUK!" real loud and make a great show of wiping your hands on your jeans or shirt tail... People will no longer touch the box and its yours! Wedgwood and all! LOL!
But, sigh, I have enuf now... time to get rid of it. Wedgwood, too... well, not all of it. Not yet.

Anonymous said...

I still think we should have bid on the old yellow road grader. Would have made a nice lawn ornament...... next to the deck boat!!!!!
AND you could restore it in your spare time.... you really need a new hobby!!!!!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

We have LOTS of "stuff" too, Lois. But whenever I go to one of these auctions or sales, it seems it's way less "stuff" than some others have collected. Of course, "stuff" can seem like less "stuff" when it's you own.

HermitJim, some ways NOT buy more "stuff" is (1) not to take too much $ with you, (2) don't check out ALL the "stuff". (3) leave early to avoid the traffic jam when the auction ends.

Thanks Possum, some good tips to remember the next time when maybe I really, really want something. Wedgewood is nice, just not my "thing" so I'll leave it for your collection, but if a piece ever turns up in a box lot - it's yours!

Thanks Grenville :-)

Anvilcloud said...

I was recently wondering what with the prevalence of the internet if ham radio still existed.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Good point, AC.
There are still lots of folks who are ham radio operators. Grenville's high school friend, who was visiting the F&P last weekend, is an avid ham radio person and even teaches folks how to operate them. And, our neighbor was a ham radio person as well, but has since passed away, and the radio tower is still in the back yard. It's true that the internet has most likely caused some decline. However for visually imparied people, ham radio is a more viable option because they can talk vs. need to look at anything. Grenville's friend has helped several learn to operate ham radio.

edifice rex said...

I have to say I was closely scanning the pics of the tools! and wow! tractors! I want one. And that old grader!! that's so wild!!

Elaine said...

Auctions can be great fun. Looks like that fellow didn't throw much away. We don't get so many of the estate auctions here in Fairbanks, I think because so many older people move out of state to warmer climes. We, on the other hand, are aging in place. Won't our kids have a great time when they have to dispose of our "valuable stuff"?

I loved your photos of the rain. Beautiful!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Annie, Grenville went to check out the equipment too and there was quite an assortment, but (thankfully) nothing he could use in our small garden. The tools always get a big crowd of guys (and some gals too).

You're right, Elaine, it did look like he was a saver. Auctions are really popular here, much more so than when we lived in NJ, where we never went to any. Here, we average at least 3-4 if only as spectators cause to "look" is free and it really is entertainment. Of course, all our own stuff is "valuable."

Thanks for the compliment on the rain pics, nice words from a fellow photographer who does such beautiful work herself!

Pat transplanted to MN said...

Oh I so admire your restraint in not buying a thing! I love estate auctions and sales, but have curtailed my expieditions to those because I have accumulated way too much and there is always something that tempts me. Anyway after my aunt died in PA last year and I found so many more treasures and had to have my own estate sale, I had to give up amassing. I'm still on overload, but I miss the estate sales and as you say chatting. It is a way to spend time, for sure. Amazes me what some will buy!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Yes, Pat, it's sometimes tough to resist buying at these estate sales, but I prefer thrift store finds. Lately I've got some good book finds and am happily sending them to others. Keeping a few for gift giving. It's easy to collect things and sometimes hard to get rid of them, but I am making a general rule to rid myself of 1 or 2 items for every "new" thing. Going to an estate sale makes me stop and think about having too much "stuff."

OldBikeRider said...

In response to the question about ham radio, in the last several years there has been an increase in new licenses. Many get into it for emergency communications, some for 'Radio Sports' in which various contest are run almost every weekend, and some just like to meet folks in other areas of the world and talk. Like the internet you can find people talking about almost any subject. There seems no end to the various ways people have worked up to use this free wireless technology. Was any of the radio gear in the sale? And that 'personal' road grader, I could use that!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

BikeRider, if there was any radio gear being auctioned, I missed it, so I checked with Grenville and he didn't see any and figured it had been sold or given away in advance. Thanks for the info on ham radio. Hey, should we ask the neighbor about her tower...and think it will fit in the sidecar? Not sure how much the personal road grader went for, we heard it was in "rough" shape.

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