Down Country Roads May June 2018 DCR MayJune 2018 web - Page 19

- Weather was sunny and mild for this auction held on a picturesque ranch north of Beulah, Wyo. An independent caterer is generally on site, offering snacks, beverages and lunch. Dress for the weather and recognize that restrooms could be an outhouse or portable facility. “When I came into the room, the auctioneer was at $10, asking for $12.50.” “All I heard was, ‘My shirt’s velvety.’” Confused? F First-time auction-goers might be confused, unless they are routine. With H.G.’s guidance, James quickly got straight with Mess- smart like James Craft, an air traffic controller at Ellsworth Air Force Base who attended a recent Gary Messner household ner’s chant and started to focus on “$12.50” instead of “vel- goods auction at the Pennington County Fairgrounds with a vety.” Bargain buying followed. For the record, Messner was wearing a cotton shirt and base- man who tuned his hearing. Moved out of the barracks for the first time and newly married, James and his wife were in the ball cap that day. You will see all Black Hills auctioneers market for affordable furniture, but hadn’t given much thought dressed mostly in conservative Western wear. Never in velvet! Whether cattle, couches or carbide lamps, selling “the auc- to auctions. To the rescue came a coach in the person of James’ civilian tion way” has been used to establish prices and exchange goods work colleague, Hank “H.G.” Groomes, a veteran auction-goer in and around the Black Hills since the gold rush era. who recommends that all first-time bidders attend a sale with By early in the next decade, Ron Bradeen will attain the cen- someone who can help decipher the sounds, sights and buying tury mark with the stewardship of his family’s third-generation Story by david Super • Photography by David Super DOWN COUNTRY ROADS 19