By Doris Schroeder
As John and I got ready to attend the Buhler auction of our relatives, Alden Ray and Adina Kliewer in Buhler on Saturday, the 4th of April, it brought many visions of auctions that took place years ago.
Of course, my first memory of one is when my family moved off the farm between Buhler and Medora. My grandparents had moved to town and my Dad wanted to farm along with his job at the Sam Schneider Oil Co. in Hutch. He had tried it for a year but when his cousin Ike had come from California, he enticed him to bring his little family to the “golden state.” Consequently, he planned to have an auction to sell his farm equipment.
What a job! Dad used little 7-yr-old me to help paint the old machinery. Mom burned everything we couldn’t take along, and I was supposed to sell all my toys from Christmases past. ..my little wicker doll buggy, my Shirley Temple doll as well as other things my grandparents had given me after my older sister Luella had been killed.
The day of the auction arrived and cars started driving up the hill of our farm yard and parked in the field in front of our huge 7-bedroom house. Our two dogs Shep and Spot, had a field day but finally got tired at barking at all the people and hid behind the chicken house.
Some church ladies came and set up a counter in the front of the garage so they could sell their tasty morsels. I could hardly wait until I would be able to buy a bottle of pop, as treats were not so readily obtainable in those days.
The farm windmill began to rotate slowly and gradually picked up speed to the chant of “Come and buy!
Then the auctioneer, I think his name was Jeff Regier, got ready to chant his sing song auctioneering using phrases that puzzled me… “You can believe this!” I wondered “Not the other stuff?” “I know a man who would give a thousand dollars to see this!” Later, I was told the man was blind. Anyways it was interesting.
I felt some misgivings when my doll buggy was sold. My parents, however, had told me I could use the money from my toys to buy something in California and that satisfied me. (Incidentally, I did buy a scooter in L.A. and was able to drive around McFarland with my girl friend, Billie Ray, who also got one. What a time!)
Finally everything had been sold and the last Model A had driven down the driveway on the hill. Mom and Dad had piled all our bedding, pots and pans, dishes, and even Carol’s crib, as well all our clothing, in the back seat of our almost new ‘39 Mercury and we wended our way to Buhler to stay with relatives until we left for California. To me it was a big adventure that was enjoyable.
Later in life, when John and I got married, we occasionally visited an auction…first to buy furniture for our first rented house. Later, we even did a couple auctions for others since John had taken a course in it. I did some of the book work which really is not my thing, even though the auction itself was entertaining fun.
Nowadays, we usually do one once a year for the Christian Women’s Club and that is enjoyable. People come wanting to help out the group and are willing to even bid up a homemade pie to ninety dollars! It is fun to get caught up in the moment and realize some good will come out of it.
As one gets older its not as pleasurable to leave the things we are used to behind. I asked my sister-in-law, Frannie, what she remembered about her folk’s auction and she couldn’t recall a lot about it. She was sorry, however, she hadn’t kept an old chest they had had upstairs, because it would really come in handy now.
We both decided it is hard to foretell the future and what we will need in our days ahead.
It is a wonderful thing that if we have accepted Christ into our lives and live according to His word, we have someone in charge who knows what we need to make it through our earthly journey. It is then we do not need to fret about our own short comings but can let God have the controls…even at an auction! And…you CAN believe that!
Doris welcomes your comments and can be reached at [email protected]