I don’t do it often. I went into it reluctantly. But I’m starting to like this auctioneer thing.
The first time happened years and years ago at the Richard Karn Golf Tournament. At that time, the Roosevelt High School alum was paying back his community and thanking support in his mom’s battle with cancer by putting on a celebrity golf tournament. The very first year, he had Sam Drucker and Mr. Haney from ‘Green Acres” as part of his ‘celebrities’…but also the about-to-breakout-and-make-it-big Samuel L. Jackson. Got to hang with them all and then some at the golf tournament. Then, the night of the awards, Murdock, Hunter and Alice were on hand….when we were told, right then and there that we were going to have a live auction. We hadn’t planned on it…..the audience didn’t plan on it…and it was downright painful. No one had planned to be attending an auction and the bids were scarce. We got down to downright begging.
Fast forward to 2007 and I was asked to auction off a couple of items for the Norwegian Ladies Chorus of Seattle, at their annual event. It was relatively painless and while I didn’t do the “hey, dabba-dabba” fast-talk thing, I was able to keep it moving and sneak in a few silly comments along the way. Over the years, more and more have come along…and now I have a steady stable of five per year..only a few of them paid….most of them, because I’m a nice guy.
But I’m feeling like we’re on to something here. Saturday night, buddy Scott Burns and I did the auctioneer thing for the second year in a row for the Wedgwood Elementary PTSA…..and, for the second year in a row, we rocked! Like I said, I don’t do the fast-talk thing, but I do keep it moving and I have a couple of rules—never embarrass or pressure anyone beyond playful and when the night is done, everybody there had the most fun they’ve ever had at an auction.
We did our best this past weekend. Here are just a few of the lines I worked in during the evening at the Wedgwood Elementary School auction:
* We’re hoping to raise even more money than we did last year. Hopefully, enough, we can finally buy an ‘e’ for the end of the of the ‘wedge’ in Wedgwood.
* Scott is so much into this cowboy theme, he even took a bath with Saddle Soap this afternoon……
* This the best western event I’ve ever been in outside of a Best Western.
* Camille, the auction chair, has been running around crazy, getting read for this auction….so much, three times she was mistaken for a Jet Blue pilot.
* Who’s ready to bid way too much and wake up tomorrow morning full of regret?
* Pretty light weekend…..having fun tonight at the auction….going to visit the grandkid down in Olympia tomorrow morning…then stopping by the office to get that resignation letter off my boss’s desk, since those Mega Millions tickets failed me.
* In your program, your chair person Camille Settle wrapped up her introduction by saying, “Saddle up and enjoy the ride.” How many times has Chris (her husband) heard that?
OK, enough. You can see why I enjoy doing the auction thing. It’s an outlet. Not quite the same thing as getting up at 2am to be on the radio…but for now, it’ll do.