Community and Talk at the Auction House Social Club
It seems like I’ve always been interested in auctions. Since childhood I’ve enjoyed wandering through rows of other people’s stuff looking for something that might catch my fancy. During those tours de stuff, I was cautious to keep my hands still so as not to make an accidental bid.
I usually went to auctions with my father who occasionally bid on a few things, but he was always ready to go before I was. For me there was something about just being there with all those people, looking through the myriad of items and listening to the auctioneer’s song. Those auctions held an air of excitement, entertainment and friendship that welcomed whoever would stay around long enough to understand it.
My father once told me that my great uncle-who went deaf after hearing too much heavy artillery in World War 11-liked going to auctions. He didn’t go to buy. He went to enjoy a piece of pie and the company he found there. For my great uncle the auction was a place to grab a bite to eat and to socialize. His enjoyment of the auction reached beyond the mere purchasing process or business transaction and inspired me to study what I’ve come to call the Auction House Social Club.
I chose the Columbus Auction as the location for my observation because it had a record of consistency among the auction crowd. It was a place where people could depend on both business and fellowship on a weekly basis. Owner Jack Garner told me he has been holding the auction at the site located about 1.5 miles south of Columbus, Kansas, on Kansas Highway 7 nearly every Monday afternoon for the past 15 years. He said the auction is only closed for brief vacations and major holidays when they fall on or near Mondays.
To be continued next week…
Copyright 2001 Michael Shead
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