Sunday, April 4, 2010

My grandparent's estate auction - round one

Saturday, April 3 was the first of three Saturdays devoted to my grandparent's estate auction. Avid auction goers, farmers, and collectors, the amount of stuff is overwhelming and impressive. I certainly understand my desire to accumulate - especially interesting old stuff. It must be genetic! Anything with a bit of rust or worn/well loved patina is looked at with affection. Things in multiples (collections) have so much power in form and function.

My dad has been working really hard to prepare for the auctions. His first task was to sort through the farm equipment and all of the years of stuff that made the farm go. Anyone who has lived on a farm operated by depression-era people knows that you keep everything - just in case! My grandfather kept bolts, nuts, screws, and many tools and pieces and parts. The wagons were loaded with boxes, old coffee cans, galvanized buckets, refrigerator drawers - anything that could hold items was filled to the brim with bits and pieces of the farm. I loved the texture and intrigue of all of the rusted bits.

We had beautiful weather, though the farm was a muddy mess from serious rains in the days leading up to the sale. Luckily, we had warning to wear old shoes. The kids loved roaming through the mud in their mud boots!

The old trucks, tractors and equipment were really interesting. We waited with anticipation to see if all the tractors would start...only one needed a jump. Thank goodness for good friends who are excellent mechanics.

We watched as the two old grain trucks that Jeremy drove when he helped with wheat harvest sold. Now, we hope we can get one with the floorboards still in tack, better brakes and a bed that operates consistently and doesn't get locked in the up or down position. The adventures of helping my dad!

I was most surprised to see all of the tires, rims and wheels as part of the auction. Hubcaps were another popular items. Grandpa saved everything. We had several scrap metal dealers attend and they bought up some of the metal parts that did not make any sense to me. My brother said they make 25% as a finders fee for the metal. When I was little, I wanted to own a junk yard and I think that is why I was so intrigued by their work.

We got such a kick out of the old license plate from Osage County, my home. It is secured to the truck with bailing wire on one side. This just speaks to how we do things - make do, figure it out, bailing wire can fix a lot.

The old barn has a pretty good lean. The weathered barn wood and great doors inside are pretty amazing. There was stuff literally everywhere on the place - inside the barn, in the Quonset, in piles. Piles of abandoned parts, a huge old church bus, eight bale feeder rings set on their sides, worn out bikes, and some really awesome, amazing junk.

It was a good day. Tired, sun burnt, emotional hangover...ready to go again in two weeks.

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