Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend the Doughty Run School Auction for the first time. The auction is held annually on the second Saturday of July at Wise’s School which is located on SR 557 between Berlin and Charm, Ohio. The auction is designed to raise funds for four different Amish schools in the Doughty Creek and Becks Mills, Ohio area.
I was at another event in the morning so I didn’t arrive until just before noon. Things were well underway with hundreds of people in attendance. As I approached I could hear the sound of several auctioneers simultaneously offering items for sale. I was told there were five separate auctions running concurrently most of the day. I arrived at the main tent just as the quilt auction was getting underway. I loved to hear the Amish auctioneer and watch his assistants in action. I know they are there to do their job, but I find it to be greatly entertaining just to watch and listen. They auctioned off lots of quilts at what I thought were some pretty good prices for the buyers. In addition to lots of quilts there were all kinds of other items at the auction including furniture, tables and chairs, hutches, hickory rockets, rustic furniture, cedar chests, industrial equipment, tools, home decor items, wagons, knives, hunting gear, and the list goes on. There were also plenty of little, inexpensive knick-knacks to entice the kids.
In the early afternoon, I bought two to-go barbecue chicken dinners with noodles, dressing, potato salad, and pie (a typical Amish home-cooked meal) and went home to have lunch with my dearest. What a feast! It was as good as a thanksgiving day meal. After lunch I headed back over to the auction for awhile; it’s only about a mile from my house. This time I got into a conversation with an Amish man, Mose Miller, who was collecting money from people who were buying drinks, root beer floats, and sandwiches. It was later afternoon so we had time to chat between customers. He was pretty knowledgeable about the goings on. The school benefit auction is organized and run by a committee of four people (couples). New committee members rotate in and out so it’s not a “forever” kind of thing for any of them. Mose said that by the end of the evening, all the people helping will have cleaned up, moved everything out, and by the time they leave, “you would not know that anything had happened here today”.
The only “paid” people at the auction are the auctioneers. All the other work including the tent setup and tear down is done by volunteers, the parents who have children in any of the four schools that will receive funds from the auction proceeds. Many of the items in the auction are donated or sold on consignment.
I’ve been looking for a good Amish craftsman to make some customized hardwood furniture pieces for a customer of mine. I was happy to discover that Mose was the owner of M&M Woodworking, located down near Becks Mills, Ohio. As it turns out he was interested in the potential of creating the pieces for my customer. I’m planning to stop by and see him next week. We chatted for sometime in PA Dutch about the Amish and other things and then it was time to “call it a day”.