Herman, MN - 8/13
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The Venue The Goods Tractors Next Item Lewie Green Acres Denise & Scotty Farmer Lewie Real Farmers Out of Place Lumberjack Auction Clip

Well he's not 100% but Lewie feels pretty good.  Lewie grew up with Scotty and his wife Millie.  Scotty is 88 years old and is selling off a large portion of his lifetime collection at the urging of his wife and family.  Scotty has enjoyed going to many an auction throughout his life so it's appropriate that he have an auction of his own.  It's starts at 10:00 am in his hometown of Herman, MN at the fairgrounds.  Cousins Kim and Lynn are coming from Balaton, MN today to visit and said they'd meet us at the auction.

Lewie, Denise, and I arrive a little early at 9:45 am.  We browse the items.  In the horse arena there are 3 hay racks loaded with stuff and lots of antique furniture off the the side.  And outside are 6 or 7 old tractors, two pickup trucks, a 1950 Plymouth, and several other pieces and parts of old cars from Model A's to an old 1929 mail truck that kind of looks like a Hummer.  Then in the back row is lots of old farm equipment.  Corn shellers, cream separators, one and two row planters, and lots of other things I can't remember.  It all looks like a bunch of old worthless crap to me but as I'll see later, some of this stuff is quite valuable.

Neither Denise nor I have ever been to an auction before.  It's quite a process.  First to be eligible to bid, you have to register and then get a number.  The registration process is simple but they take down your drivers license number so they can hold you accountable for your bids and any failure to pay.  Lewie gets a number for us to share.

Then the bidding starts.  The auctioneer is in the back of a pickup truck with a camper shell and built-in sound system.  Next to him is a person who keeps track of who has won which items on a laptop.  There is some sort of wireless connection to the trailer outside where one registers and settles his bids.  On the hay rack are two members of the auction staff.  While one is showing the item currently being auctioned, the other is getting the next item ready for display.  Both assist the auctioneer with tracking bidders.  Then there are two other staff members just out and about in the crowd, also assisting with tracking bidders.  So the auctioneer is calling the bid and when one of the assistants spots a bid, he yells a quick "HO!" to let the auctioneer increase the amount.  This goes back with the auctioneer blabbering so fast that you really can't understand much filled with "HO!" "HO!" "HO!"...  Words can't describe it.  You'll just have to take the time to download one of the movie clips I took of this operation.

It's amazing what some of this stuff goes for.  A box of old vehicle license plates for $85.  Old lamps for $45 apiece.  An old (I guess I can quit saying "old" since it's ALL old) icebox for $600.  Ratty broken chairs for $50 each.  A box of cloth flour sacks for $25.  The 1950 Plymouth that doesn't even run for $1000.  And a 3 gallon water jug with a brass spout and lid for $725.  It just went on and on and on.  Makes me never want to throw anything away again.

Another interesting note you'll see in the pictures is how "out of place" I am.  All these old farmers in their standard blue jeans, short or long sleeve work shirts, work boots, and caps.  And then there's me.  Tropical print shirt.  Shorts.  And tennis shoes.  Of course I stick out like a sore thumb anyway so I'm used to it.

We stayed until about 3:00 pm.  Lynn and Kim still haven't arrived but we don't have cell phone service here so maybe they have called.  One of Lewie's friends invites us to his house so he can give us some sweet corn.  We stop there on our way out of town.  I have to admit I was quite scared when we pulled up to his house and got out of the truck.  Running at full speed from the corn field is a large dog that is part Rotweiller.  I looked around for anything I could put between me and the dog such as a stick, ladder, chair, etc.  But there was nothing and the dog was getting closer.  I had no idea what to do.  Thus, I was quite relieved when the dog reached my feet and dropped to her side so I could rub her stomach.

We left with 3 grocery sacks full of corn and headed back to camp.  We were quite surprised to find Kim and Lynn waiting for us and were happy to see them.  They were held up this morning and couldn't make the auction but arrived around 3:00 pm.  We spent the evening visiting and had a real good time.

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