Farm auctions are pretty neat. Yes, it’s possible that you may have to stand around for hours in the sticky summer heat waiting for the item you want to bid on to come up for auction. It’s also possible that the guy who’s farm is being auctioned off was a crazy collector, and the auctioneer has 167 different tractor seats to auction off individually. That can take a while. But those collector auctions are the ones that also have the hidden gems – things you’d never think of picking up at a farm auction.
My dad enjoys auction sales – so much so that I’ve started to verbify the term auction sale – like this, “Are you going auction-saling?”
He has come home with all kinds of crazy auction sale finds over the years, some practical and some just ridiculous.
Last summer I was over at my parents’ place for supper one night.
“Hey Jan, come outside,” my dad says. “I picked something up this morning that you’re going to like.”
Outside, there’s a trailer hooked up to his truck with an extremely weathered clawfoot bathtub sitting on top of it. I’m happy to learn this isn’t the item he’s excited to show me.
Next, he goes into the truck and pulls out an antique fiddle. OK, neat. He plays it for a bit (failing at pretending he knows how). Rufus, the dog, stands by his side howling away. It’s all very funny and cute, and then he puts the fiddle down.
“And that’s fiddle number one!” He says loud enough for the neighbours to hear.
He goes back into the truck and pulls out another rickety old fiddle.
Two fiddles and a clawfoot bathtub – maybe not your average finds from a farm auction. But like I said, you can end up coming home with something boring and practical, like five rolls of snow fence, or you can end up with some hidden gems.
I’d like to write about the kind of crowd you might find at a farm auction, but that’s a whole new post by itself. As you can probably imagine, farm auctions usually attract an array of quirky characters. I’ll save that one for another time.