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Penny Auction: Big Horn of Plenty for a Penny



(Illustration: Charles Weiss)

Last winter while reading a local weekly newspaper I noticed several penny auctions were listed for the upcoming weekend.

I anticipated an afternoon gathering of bargain hunters on a snowy Saturday at a community hall along highway 10.

Sure enough, there was a lineup of folks at the door waiting to get in the hall and buy envelopes of auction number tickets. The volunteers take your phone number, if you don’t want to stick around.

Colourful items, slightly used and new, were displayed on long rows of tables. In front of each item was a paper coffee cup where you dropped your numbered tickets. 

“Yeah, that’s right, everything for a penny,” I overheard from all corners of the room.

Something about the  bright red t-shirt with the phrase, “Does this shirt make my bass look fat?” with a simple drawing of a person holding a fish made me drop a fistful of tickets in that cup. Part of bargain hunting is knowing what you want to win and where to place your tickets.

By mid-afternoon numbers were being picked and called and the air was filled with anticipation.

A parade of cherished “new to me” items moved out to the parking lot. And I won my shirt!

Charles Weiss is an artist and writer living for the past few years in Pleasantville. He is originally from Southern Ontario where he illustated and wrote editorial stories for newspapers and magazines including the Toronto Star and Real Fishing magazine. He regularly exhibits his paintings and sculptures in Lunenburg Art Gallery.


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