I headed into the weekend looking forward to attending a local auction that actually had a few real ANTIQUES featured, when I suddenly wasn’t able to hear out of my left ear! Heeding my own advice to myself about going to the Dr., I headed on over to Doc’s & learned I had a good old fashioned ear infection…the kind they used to poke tubes into in the ‘old days.’ Armed with a few modern medicines I was sorta ready to enjoy some auction entertainment on Saturday, although I continued to feel like I was living under water & in dire need of one of those turn of the century ‘hearing horns’. So, to set the stage: the local auctioneer had stumbled upon a FIND when poking through a potential customer’s house recently: a painted and decorated miniature blanket box attributed to the Stirewalt group (Google that!) out of New Market, VA…which is just down the road a bit. These decorated boxes are highly coveted by local collectors of folk art and this one was a beauty! Great as found condition, & it had been in the same local family beyond forever, all those things the Road Show folks look for… The crowd had assembled, most of whom had come to ‘see the show’ when the box sold. The potential buyers were lined up along the back wall, from one side of the room to the other, some in deep conversation with each other, some on cell phones (potential client?), others, myself included, were excitedly talking about the box (‘the feet are too big’, ‘the paint too shiny’, ‘it’s absolutely just right’, ‘don’t you remember the last one? years ago’, ‘what do you think it will sell for?’….etc etc). At 10 am on the dot the crowd quieted & the auctioneer told the story of the box, and the family provenance. And then, they were off!!! And three minutes later they were finished & the box had sold for $25,000…to a good home (not mine!) here in the Valley. A good way to start a Saturday, watching a show full of drama & intrigue, with a happy ending after all is said & done. & I didn’t miss a thing, because these new-fangled modern auctioneers use LOUD speakers!! I didn’t walk away completely empty handed from the sale, found a great ‘what’s-it’ that I finally figured out was a cord or clothesline winder…see it on my website! I figure it’s a steal @ $45!!