Most Memorable Auction

Never know who you'll run into at the airport.

This morning (September 19, 2017) on my way to Nashville, TN, boarding the plane,  ducking to fit into one of those lovely little commuter airplanes at the Rochester, MN airport, head down to keep from scraping my head on the ceiling, shuffling along down the aisle back towards my seat in the back of the plane...and I hear "Hey Pete."

It was a face from the past. Dick Gerhardt from the Fairmont, MN area. I covered Dick's farm retirement auction back on December 11, 2010. When we deplaned at O'Hare airport in Chicago Dick and I caught up for a bit and grabbed a selfie.


Yes, I remember Dick's farm auction like it was yesterday...December 11, 2010.

The most memorable auction I've ever covered.

Why? Well, partly because Dick had an amazing line up of like new John Deere farm equipment. Think the sale totalled $2.2 Million that day. Remember now, this was nearly 7 years ago. $2.2 Million is a quite a figure now. It was a real eye opener then.

But what made Dick's farm auction so memorable was Mother Nature. She threw a good old fashioned Minnesota BLIZZARD at us. 12-15 inches of snow. 30 plus mph winds roaring. Temperature dropping. But the sale went on.


This blizzard auction proved a theory our auction sale price data has shown for the nearly 3 decades I've been compiling it. An auction with good condition used equipment tends to produce stronger sale prices on bad weather days. I know, seems backwards, but it's true. I suppose its simply human nature....."I'm out here freezing my butt off, I might as well bid once more..." Everyone at the sale feels same way, equipment sells for bit more than estimated. Funny thing is, most folks braving the cold/snow/rain/wind figure they're going to be going home with some great deals because the weather is SO bad.

Nope, not usually.

Certainly not on December 11, 2010 at Dick's farm retirement auction in Fairmont, MN. Here are the 2 Machinery Pete Youtube videos I posted from that auction. Kind of fun to watch the videos and see/hear the wind and snow cranking away, and watching those bids just keep climbing on all that shiny, late model John Deere farm equipment:


When I carefully made my way back to the hotel after the auction, I was greeted in my Holiday Inn hotel room with a mini drift of snow that had blown right through the northwest facing room window. Like I said, this was an old fashioned, real Minnesota blizzard. I-90 was shut until the next afternoon about 3 pm. I drove the 2 hour drive home to Rochester, MN knowing this would always be at the top of my list for most memorable auctions I've ever covered.

7 years later, still the case. Watching the auction video still makes me shiver. And smile.