Auction: Selling History

A dear friend of mine recently phased out the construction / welding side of her 57 year old, family owned business, and because of that, an auction was held to sell off equipment.  I’d originally planned to serve as support person and friend, but within minutes after arriving, I knew that I’d also be documenting history.  This is the first post of two about that auction.

While understanding that this was a bittersweet process for the family, I neverless found it fascinating.  As with bikers and military families (and I’ve been part if both), the group of machinists, contractors, and welders that were present that day represented another subculture:  those hardworking folks who work with their hands, and their backs, to construct things that many of us take for granted.

The room was packed and the excitement palpable.


Immediately energized, I jumped into the middle of the large crowd of people, primarily male, most in ball caps and Carhartt.  No one seemed to mind me and my camera, thankfully, and I enjoyed interacting with everyone.

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This young man had a little of his own cash and when I asked what he planned to buy, he said “something for my Dad”.


This little guy was just along for the ride.


Andthis one? Obviously, he was there for the hot dogs!


The range of age …



and the visions of the past



made me feel whistful for “the good old days”.

The auction lasted all day long, inside and out.



and ultimately, it was a huge success!


Next Post: The Auctioneers and the Family

Ladder to the Sky

This past Saturday, I attended a friend’s Absolute Auction.  Her mechanical contracting business is closing after a long, very successful 57 years in business.  I had the good fortune to be able to document the history of the business, the fascinating aspects of an auction, and the culture of contractors, subcontractors, small business owners, and incredibly hard workers. It was a bittersweet day but a successful, and even a joyful day, as we celebrated all that was this business and the family associated with it.

Over the next couple weeks, I’ll be sharing some photographs and thoughts from that day, but for now I’ll share this one.  My friend Kelly gave me the most perfect title for this photo.

Ladder to the Sky


Sadly, but fitting for this Ladder to the Sky post, I had to say goodbye to my Abby this week.  She was a sick little thing and could not recover.  I’ll miss her presence in my home and my life.  Abby was the last of my pets, with two dogs and another cat having gone on before her, and for the first time in 28 years, I have no children (pets or human) in my home.


Abby was a cute little thing and like her human, knew what she liked and what she didn’t like.


Rescued and with six toes on her two front paws, Abby was a joy and a pain, as only cats can be (I say that with a smile).

Thank you, Abby, for allowing me to share your life,