Eugene L Baumann Kids enjoy a ‘Touch-a-Truck’ event in Mt. Orab New police chief takes over in Fayetteville BC Chamber moving forward on 2017 SummerFest Two killed in wrong way crash in Mt. Orab Jack Hamilton Charles L Glover Maxine M Stires Western Brown youth basketball camps a success Leto to represent Team USA in Australia Broncos hard at work in preparation for fall season Eastern approves bowling team Phyllis Ruth Lois A Manley Eddie L Carr Thomas L Carnahan Cameron Barkley Walter J McGee Gary J Graham George D Johnson Walter F Crawford Jr Charles E Meranda Jr Corbin testifies before Ohio Senate Five arrested in Hamersville drug bust Neil Diamond tribute band coming Hyde finds home at Midway Youngsters work to improve on hoop skills at Eastern basketball camps Sizer named All-District Honorable Mention Western Brown’s Barnes earns All-State, All-District honors Local players compete in SWOFCA Ron Woyan East/West All-Star Game 6th annual Ravye Williams Memorial 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament set for June 24 Clarence E Teal Rosie B Poe Monard C Boots James P Conrad James T Dinser Scott J Swearingen Eastern’s Farris earns award for top 2-point field percentage in Ohio Georgetown’s Seigla earns All-District honors OHSAA announces 2017 football regions and playoffs format Western Brown volleyball camps a success with over 100 in attendance Rigdon finishes high school running career with 10th place finish at state track and field championship meet Grace E Fite Women return to county jail as funds start to run low Georgetown Council takes action on vacant structures Veterans honored in Mt. Orab John McGee Timmy Burson Patricia A London Mary J Hall Kenneth R Behymer Western Brown’s Joe Sams commits to Marietta College WBHS to hold girls youth basketball camp Huseman signs with UC Clermont Day to continue baseball career on collegiate level at UC Clermont Western’s Pack signs with NKU WBHS to host youth boys basketball camp Eastern’s Rigdon, Hopkins are STATE BOUND James Ratliff Robert P Lesko Armstrong sentenced to twenty years on child porn possession charges Russellville hires new Village Clerk Russellville Council approves purchase of two ambulances FP School Board changes millage funding formula Thirteen charged by Brown Co. Grand Jury Local athletes advance to track and field regionals SBAAC awards baseball, softball, boys track and field First Team all-stars SHAC awards baseball all-stars Lady Broncos finish as SW District Div. II runner-up Lady Warriors cap off season as SE District Div. III runner-up Impressive post-season tourney run reaches end for Lady Rockets Rose M Crone Thousands visit Traveling Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall Strategies discussed to join Maysville/Mason County KY with Brown Co. communities for economic growth Road and bridge work planned in county Linda M Lawson Margaret G Newkirk Gregory R Dunn Sandra L Haitz Wesley A Cooper Everette F Donell Lady Broncos move to SW District Div. II finals Lady Rockets top Cincy Christian 22-1 to earn berth in district finals Lady Warriors head to SE District Div. III finals with win over Gallia SW District Track and Field Tourney action gets underway Russell E Conn Robert T Fisher Philip L Paeltz David Beals Gregory A Smith II William G Mullinnix Patricia Ogden Brittany Stykes remembered by friends and family 2018 county budget could be cut by up to ten percent Georgetown Police Chief updates council Over 40 vendors, crafters at 2017 Annual Craft Show Cropper’s time as GHS girls basketball coach expected to end after 21 years at the helm Barnes’ perfect game and big hits lead Lady Broncos to round one sectional win Broncos advance in sectional play with win over Mt. Healthy Kenny B Williams

The forecast calls for rain

We looked ahead to the long range weather forecast, and sighed to see that the auction was going to be held on the only sunny day in the foreseeable future.

We had so many chores that needed doing, all chores that could only be done on a rain-free day when the soaked ground had dried up a bit.

But even though the auction was going to be on the only sunny day in sight, we agreed to go. I knew that I should have weeded the garden. And both the pigeon and chicken coops needed cleaning and fresh straw, but I have had this auction date marked on my calendar for weeks.

I did feel just a bit guilty as we woke up in the wee hours, to drive east through the mountains so we could arrive in the small town in time for me to peruse the lots and decide on what to bid. Yes … guilty, but excited.

Greg smiled at the thought of the long road ahead and a hot cup of coffee as we started off, heading east, across the river, and up into the hills. We arrived four hours later and it was all I could do not to run across the parking lot and into the hall to sign up for my bidder’s number.

As I walked past the parked cars, I noticed that there were license plates from quite a few different states. It was all I could do to wait patiently for Greg to walk in through the doors beside me.

As Greg found a seat in the back of the room, I got my number and went up to the table at the front. No more than 10 older fellows were bent down over neatly laid out plastic baggies, each containing anywhere from one to 50 marbles. Occasionally, one of the men would pick up a bag and turn it over slowly in his hands, peering as he shone a small flashlight across the glass within.

I carefully tucked my bidder’s card into the back pocket of my jeans, number 23, and I, too, bent down to peruse the different lots. It felt good, even lucky, to be number 23, but I reasoned that I was not here to take home marbles, I was here mostly to learn from these learned fellows. I had a strict budget, but I assuredly knew that the greatest thing I could take away from this auction was knowledge.

So, I listened to the men as they passed the lot-numbered bags from one to the other and peered deeply at the contents. Akro Agates, Peltiers, Master Marbles, Champions, Christensens, Alley Agates, and more. I took notes, and not really knowing the values, I decided how high I would bid on those that I thought the prettiest, green, blue, and amber slags, helmets, and a large modern swirl.

There were 84 lots in all, some with several individually valuable marbles, that were broken down into bids for successive choice. Once the auctioneer started calling off the bids, I was surprised to see that number 23 was the last number, and it dawned on me that Greg was not the only supportive spouse in the room.

When the auctioneer held up the fourth lot, eight beautiful slag marbles, dating to the 1930s, he asked for $40. The room was silent. He dropped to 30, and silence still reigned. Then he called for 20, 15, 10, and finally five. I held my hand high from the back of the room.

“Do I hear seven fifty, seven fifty, seven fifty?” as his eyes scanned the room. I could not believe the silence, and then finally he called, “Sold to the lady with the big smile in the back of the room”, and that was all it took. I was off and bidding.

I began to talk with the other collectors as I gathered up my five- and 10-dollar lots, and yes, some of the marbles did sell for well over $100, and I learned. One fellow had only been collecting for 10 years, but most had been in love with the small glass spheres for well over 30 or even 40 years. I felt a wonderful sense of camaraderie as I stuffed my pockets with the little glass orbs. I saw that my fellow collectors had come prepared and had various sizes of small plastic baggies into which they carefully placed their prizes.

On a break, I met a lady who had written a book on collecting marbles back in the 1990s. She showed me photos of her collection, covering a whole wall of her home, and gave me an autographed copy of her book.

I talked to the auctioneer, who was glad to see a new face in the familiar marble collecting crowd. I was amazed that I felt so instantly at home, and whenever I glanced to the back of the room I saw Greg, watching with a smile.

The drive home passed in an instant as I played with my new treasures. I could not wait to get back to the creek, and I imagined that I could have stayed awake all night, sorting through them and adding them to my collection, but by the time we got home it almost dark and we needed to do the animal chores, so I tucked the contents of my pockets into my dresser drawer.

I know that there will be time to play, on perhaps another rainy day. And, yes, the forecast calls for more rain.

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2016 News Democrat