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Addicted to the Rogers Auction

The second Tuesday of the month is a holy day in our family. That’s the day of the equipment auction at Rogers, Ohio.

I like the Friday flea market and sale at the Rogers Community Auction, but I love the monthly equipment auction. Our family is addicted to this auction. We’re junkies, in both senses of the word.

It’s the thrill of the hunt, the finding of treasure, the competition for the bid, and, yes, the sad after effect: the acquisition of yet more junk to fill up the barn or pass along to someone else.

AN AIR HOCKEY TABLE for the grandsons’ entertainment was an item on my wish list at one recent auction. I spotted one in the first row of miscellaneous along the creek.

To make sense of this story, you must understand that at the Rogers monthly auction, there are multiple auctions going on at the same time. In miscellaneous alone, there are four auctioneers working four long rows of furniture, tools, building materials, appliances, household goods, antiques, literally anything, beginning at 1 p.m. and usually lasting until dark or later. Later in the afternoon there are auctions in landscaping, in small engines (mainly lawnmowers), and large equipment like tractors and hay balers, but miscellaneous is usually where we Millers look for bargains.

When you find items you want to bid on, you make a note of where they are, and then try to keep track on the progress of auctioneers toward them. I almost missed the air hockey table because I was watching bidding on something in another row. As I ran up to it, the auctioneer had a $10 bid and was making his last ask for $15.

“Yeah!” I shouted, meaning that I bid $15. The other bidder shook his head, and I had bought an air hockey table.

THE NEXT ITEM in this row was furniture, a big oak veneer something in two sections. I couldn’t tell what it was, but it looked nice.

The auctioneer started at $50 but dropped quickly to $4 and then $2 and then, in desperation, $1. His crowd stared back in complete disinterest, as if they had come to buy chickens and he was selling fish. He turned away from them and looked at me with sad puppy eyes.

“One dollar?” he asked.

“Yeah!” I said.

Next was a tall but dirty-looking cherry veneer cabinet of some kind.

The crowd had no more interest than it had had in the oak thing, and soon the auctioneer was down to $4, $2, $1 again.

Nothing.

Finally he turned to me. His hand reached out in silent entreaty.

“Yeah!” I said.

“God bless you, sir!” said the auctioneer.

GETTING ON MY cell phone, I called Seed, who was elsewhere at the auction.

“Son, I bought an air hockey table and two big pieces of furniture. Not sure what they are, but I’ll need help fitting everything on the truck.”

The oak thing turned out to be a big china hutch with curved-front drawers, glass shelves and internal lighting. I had to lightly sand and varnish the countertop, and it cost $30 for Tri-State Glass to cut glass for the windows of the four cabinet doors on top. Now the hutch in our kitchen, holding our everyday Fiesta ware, along with an heirloom set of china and all of Honey’s cookbooks. It’s beautiful!

The tall cherry veneer thing turned out to be a handsome entertainment center dating from when TVs were small enough to hide behind cabinet doors. Honey cleaned it with Murphy’s Oil Soap; we set it in the living room and put our stereo inside.

My two $1 buys are among the nicest articles of furniture we own.

Of course, when one’s home is furnished in Rogers Auction and Early Yard Sale, maybe that’s not saying a lot.

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