Allen- Nice to see you are still "playing" with trains. I remember you when I was a kid and you were the auctioneer at the monthly MTA (Model Train Association) meetings in Bellflower and TCA Western Division meetings at Bateman Hall in Lynwood. (I think those were the locations if memory serves correct?)
I had visited your store several times and attended a few of the auctions at the store-those were really great events.
Great memories of great times. The hobby was certainly different back then!!
Those were great days at those old club meets. You probably remember my dear friend John King, who was the main auctioneer back then. We all loved to watch him do the auctions. Then, one meet, he didn’t show up, and then at the next, he wasn’t there either. He had found a new girlfriend! So, the auction was done by old Bill Harris. He would take a 400E loco and start the bidding with “Dollar, dollar, dollar.....and a half and a half and a half......”
Back then—well before I had my store—I was chasing old trains and would always run a bunch of stuff through the auctions. With John King, it was great, but with old Bill, it was a disaster. I was getting killed, so one meet, scared to death, I said to myself “I can do better than old Bill,” so I gave it a try, auctioning my own stuff. I thought I was horrible, but then the next seller said “You’re way better than Bill, would you please sell my stuff?” And that’s how it started.
I got my State Auctioneer’s License and did the auctions for decades. My last auction was in October of 2006. Had I known it would be my last, well, I might have said something to the audience, but who knew? These days, live auctions, with no internet presence, just don’t work anymore, which is very sad.