Think about an event you’ve attended and loved. Your hometown’s annual fair. That life-changing music festival. A conference that shifted your worldview. Imagine you’re told it will be cancelled forever or taken over by an evil corporate force.
Ok kids, food and drinks are in the car, you have five minutes before we leave, last chance to go to the loo, unless you want to go in those portables they have there. It was the same every year, the Charity fund raising Easter Auction held at the local footy oval, we never missed it, I had decided this particular day was going to be the best one yet, as long as luck was on my side.
The kids and I looked forward to it, not so much hubby, although once there his interest peaked, albeit his aversion to bidding for anything he fancied could be a pain in the butt if it coincided with something I had my eye on, being the family bidder who would bid on anything I was often called on to do the job for him.
Being in aid of charity, anyone that had something to sell or buy was usually there, the football ground laid all the lots out in rows, from one end to the other. The variety of items for sale ranged from farm machinery, earth moving equipment, cars and down the size-scale to a bottle of nails or a card of buttons, nothings too big or too small, with four or five auctioneers working different sections of the field simultaneously.
There was also an enormous shed that housed all the finer items, collectibles, china or a multitude of treasures considered irreplaceable. This did make it hard if one had earmarked an item in other isles, but was the only way to get through all the lots before nightfall. The shed was my stalking ground, because for the previous four auctions I had been attempting to purchase an Antique Victorian Pitcher and Wash Basin Set. Falling in love with the one my Nana had had decades ago, fuelled my own desire to own one. There was always two or three up for sale in the shed, but alas, the same collector was there every year forcing the price up until it was just between the two of us. Without the financial backing she had, I didn’t allow her to get them for almost nothing, I often forced the price up far more than I could afford, thankfully she always went one bid higher.
The day eventually came when I was ready for her, having skimped and saved all the year, and unlike myself, had checked with hubby if he had any issues with my taking her down, if they had any bathroom sets for sale. The shock of me asking made him giggle, would it make any difference if I had. Go for it you’re the household accountant not me.
Sure enough on arrival at the shed, I saw there were three sets for sale; she was front and centre waiting at the stage for the first set to come under the hammer. I sidled up next to her with my bank card clutched tightly, she turned, grinning at me G’day, thought you’d be here somewhere, I grinned G’day back, showing her the card in my hand whispered, you can have both the others, but that blue set is going to be mine.
Every time I enter our bedroom and see the beautiful Matching pitcher, wash basin, vase, soap dish and shaving mug with the delicate blue floral decorations, I feel the same thrill as I did when the auctioneer slammed his hammer down, called sold and pointed to me, although it is mingled with a sadness of something lost.
Not long after that day, our local newspaper reported that there would not be another Easter auction held at the footy ground. Greed filtering through with the influx of professional collectors over the years, had forced prices up beyond the reach of everyday families, sounding the death knoll for the function. Easter Saturday wasn’t the same for a couple of years after that, but it’s life, as we move forward new interests come along.