What to do on a rainy Saturday afternoon……..


Going to an outdoor auction in a rain storm may not sound very appealing , however , if every one felt that way , there ought to have been plenty of bargains .

So With my rain coat in hand , plenty of cash , and an adventurous spirit ; I set out . When I arrived at the auction , I was relived to discover : I was not the only deranged man who thought this was a good idea . I have honestly never see that many rain drenched people in hopes of finding the one item of their desires .

Now , these items for auction were neither prized antiques nor rare steam engines ; these items were mostly broken down heavy machines far past their usefulness . They were being bought solely for their salvage value and last remaining worth .

Felling somewhat sad over the fate of these titans of industry , I looked around to see if any of them would be worthy of resurrection . While I walked past the gigantic Monarch metal lathes , the massive drill presses , and heavy steel monsters of unknown tasks , I spot a large pile of what seemed to be great round pots , although , they had no bottoms .
As I studied the unusual pieces of cast iron , I began to understand that they were parts of an old pot-bellied stove . A stove the size of which I’ve never seen . Unaware if the entirety of the stove was present , or what it may look like , I dismissed it. It was absolutely destined to the other in the scrap pile .

Disappointed by the lack of interesting or useful pieces , I started to leave . When all of a sudden the auctioneer started to sell the lot containing the stove parts . I heard him call ,” What do you bid for this lot ? Someone start me out! How’bout $100.00 ?” No one bids . After a few moments he yells ,” who’ll give me $50?” No offer . In his last attempt he pleads ,” $25?”; When a man raised his bid card . With new hope in his voice the auctioneer called .”do I have $50?”; then “$100?”;then “$150?!”

I was beginning to wonder if the men there were aware of something I was blind to . I often wonder , who is this person doing the idiotic things I so often take responsibility for . I then heard the auctioneer declare ,” sold to bidder number one eleven !” My bid number ; Go figure . I then hear myself , daughters , and employees ask ,” Charles , what were you thinking ?!”
First thing after hauling 100 pounds of seemingly worthless scrap iron home ; find out if my suspicions were correct . I wondered if that giant iron beast was indeed a pot-bellied stove . After much sand blasting and blackening I discover I am now a proud owner of an “Indiana Foundry’s company #1 Jumbo Big Ben Pot Bellied Stove .

This large beauty will warm my humble Timber Framing shop for years to come . It will also serve as a constant reminder that the relics of our past connect us to our forefathers in ways very few things can . It was well worth effort .

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