Four charged in overdose death Underage felonies strain county system Fayetteville looks forward to 2018 celebration Russellville council discusses underground tanks in village Marilyn A Wren Larry E Carter Virginia L McQuitty Practices get underway for fall sports Jays soon to begin quest for SHAC title Western Brown to hold Meet the Teams Night and OHSAA parent meeting Aug. 8 Norville F Hardyman Carol J Tracy James Witt Hundreds of Narcan doses used in 2016 Heavy weekend rain causes flooding and damaged roads Child Focus hosts Chamber of Commerce meeting Mary F McElroy Broncos out to defend SBAAC American Division soccer title Bronco 5K to take place Aug. 5 EHS volleyball team ready for new season Michael C Cooper Raymond Mays Harry E Smittle Jr Mary A Flaugher Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Ricky L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate Local kids find success in world of martial arts 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk set for Aug. 5 Teams compete in memory of Randy Fulton Mike W Smith Roger Helton David A Borders Timothy E Argenbright Joseph W Sherrill Frances K Pedigo Cecil N Graham Sawyers charged in sex for heroin plot Group demands changes at ELSD Blanche Malblanc Pauline L Kirk Over 70 take part in 11th Joe Myers 5K Classic Lions Club 4th of July Festival brings outdoor fun to Ripley ODNR reminds visitors to swim safe this summer Changes in high school track and field/cross country rules include school issued and approved uniforms Betty L Philpott Judy B Williams Billie J Russell Remembering Ravye 25 attend volleyball camp in Fayetteville Western Brown hosts Pee Wee Football Camp 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

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