One day last week, a sign was put up in the front yard of a neighbor who had passed away a few weeks ago. The sign gave notice that an estate auction would take place on Sunday. My first thought was how many cars would be parking on the street in front of our house and what a nuisance that was going to be. I didn't give going to the auction myself a second a thought. I have been known to be a pretty mean bidder on the "online auction" websites, but, while my father was almost an auction "professional", I have never enjoyed standing out in the sun all day long waiting until the item you want is put up for bids. So, Sunday came and as I thought, the onslaught of cars, trucks, and people began early. The auctioneer's microphone echoed throughout the neighborhood and the hours passed by. I watched people loading items of various value and size into their vehicles and finally, my curiosity got the best of me and I casually mentioned that maybe we should have gone down to just "check out what was going on". And before I knew it, off my husband and I went to "see what we could see."
Things were winding down quite a bit by this time, and I wandered away from the crowd into the garage to take a look at what might be left. The first table I came to looked interesting as I found a box with some books. I opened a small grade school yearbook from my elementary school from two years after I had moved on to junior high school. I recognized many teachers and some students who were slightly younger than I. The next book I found was what created what I would call my "auction madness". It was a 1943 Fairmont High School Yearbook. Underneath it were yearbooks from 1945 and 1946. Fairmont is the school from which my mother and her family graduated and I knew the possibility existed that I might find several relatives within the pages of these books. I quickly started turning pages and within two minutes, I was thrilled to discover two portraits of my uncles.
They are both so young in these pictures and it's shocking to think that in just a few months, they had both entered into the service of their country.
I knew before going any farther, that I had to have this treasure box of books. I was afraid to leave the books, so when my husband finally found me, I told him that we needed to find out what to do so we could bid when the time came. He started watching how things were done and then quickly registered and received our bidding number. I suddenly realized I had no money and I had to leave him standing by the box while I ran home to scrounge up some money. This entailed borrowing from my children and stealing from the "wedding and vacation fund", but I could not let someone else have those books. Running back into the garage, I started guarding the box so no one else could even look at it. Other bidders were standing next to certain things in the garage as well, so I figured I was now just moving into full auction mode along with the bidding veterans. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the auctioneer made his way into the garage, along with an entourage of people just trying to get a bargain. He wasn't going to take each item individually because by now, this man was hot, tired, and anxious to get done with things. He took the entire table and ask for the highest bid and whomever made the high bid got their choice of anything on the table. The bidding started and my husband was right in the middle of it. My dad would have been proud of him! We were the top bid at $5.00 and I grabbed my books. There was another pile of books right next to the yearbooks and I got those too. They consisted of some magazines regarding the Kennedy assassination and the opening of Disney World, along with a couple of local history books. After getting the books home and having more time to study them, I discovered numerous photos of my uncles, cousins, and friends. The books are in pristine condition and I am very thankful to have them in my possession. As an extra surprise, I also found inside the magazines I bought two Dayton Daily News front pages; one regarding the death of Franklin Roosevelt and the other documenting the Battle of Midway! Jackpot! It doesn't get too much better than that.
So, yes, I may have let "Auction Madness" get the better of me, but sometimes a little madness can be a good thing!