November 10, 2007
Estate Sale - Billie Joe Crawford

By Susie Jo (Crawford) Stone

What most folks would have considered to be a bitter-sweet day for their family, turned out to be a fantastic time for the "Crawford Clan".
Something in me just has to put down in words, a few of the happenings of the day, because they are to sweet to be lost in the memory bank of time.
  When Dad realized the Buyout of Picher/Cardin was really going to happen, and happen to him, he decided to have an auction and dispose of not only alot of items he didn't use anymore, but also to sell one of the greatest mining/farming antique collections in the area.  This was a huge decision for a man of 83 to have to make all by himself, but he did it. 
  My cousin and his wife, Jim and Cathy Richardson called Dad a few weeks before the auction and said they were going to come down and help get ready for the auction, bringing their camper to sleep in, trailer to haul stuff on for Dad's moving, and food to feed the entire family for the week.  The part of this story that is moving......when Dad and Mom were young and having a family, they lost 2 boys and a girl,  entailing lots of hospital and funeral bills.  During this period of time, Dad's sister, "Aunt Hazie" (Hazel Richardson) stepped up to the need and kept Patricia and I all the time.  She didn't just keep us to be a help but you know what, she Loved us with an overwhelming love.  She's the first person I ever remember putting powder on me after my bath,....what a treat.  So now, 60 some years down the road, Dad is going through a major change in his life, and who steps up to the need again,  Hazie's son Jim.  Isn't life strange?  The same love that helped in time of great grief, was the same blood line of love that helped in this time of great change.  Our God is so good!!
   Through the week, Jimmie worked side by side Dad, moving stuff out to the house Dad is moving to, getting ready for the auction, and best of all, being a neighbor and knocking on the door every morning to see if Dad was ready to get started.  And Cathy, what a jewel, ......meatloaf, chicken salad, fried fish, roast!!!!!and the most beautiful spirit I ever witnessed in a person.  I said one time, "Here comes little Delphie with more food" :-).
  We laughed all week because, here would go Dad with a trailer load, and Jimmie right behind him with a trailer load, headed out to the house him and Trish & Bud are buying together.  Jimmie told us one night at supper Buddy had said there was gonna have to be a line drawn in that garage, hehe.  Tim had poured a slab of cement for him on Thursday, on the south side of the garage, but we all told Trisha he poured it on the north side where he could have all his stuff closer to the house.   Needless to say, we all were belly laughing and Dad was just grinning real big!!!  Seriously, there is no way in the world we can ever repay Jim and Cathy for all they did for thier "Uncle Bill".
  Friday evening Peggy and Frank Coleman and Gayle and Sharon Crawford came from KC, (hmmmm, more of Hazie's kids, why is that no surprise to this picture?) to be here with all of us.  We all ate supper on the car port,(Jim, Cathy, Lloyd, myself, Trisha, Bud, Dad, Gayle, Sharon, Peg and Frank) then called Gene Cantrell  to tell him a big fib, about eating the turnips that Gayle  had brought down for him and how good they were. Sharon had brought cinnamon rolls & some kind of real fattening brownie bar, so we dug into those a day early.  Cathy had made stew for Saturday and we started on that a day early also. mmmm!!!!   What a fun time we had.  (Except when Gayle & I worked on insurance papers for Dad.  Thank God for his help too.)
  Jim Clapp was the auctioneer and they were there on Wednesday and Friday morning, helping to pull things out and sit up tables.  They came on Saturday morning at 6:45 am.   The day begin!!!!   We all got there early also to help, and somehow it was ready.
  One time Clint and I were cleaning out a cabinet and he spotted a really BIG spider, yuk!!!  This same cabinet was the one I tried to get Becky to go get and take home with her, no she didn't want it, then during the auction she decides she wants it, misses the bid, another buyer, #99, gets it for $7.50.  Jeff ask him if he would sell it back to him for $25.00 and the guy gets smart with Jeff. hahhaha, Jeff wanted to knock him off the stool he was sitting on...."on his.....bottom", hahah.
  I told Tim at the beginning of the auction, "You better get you a number", his reply was the top sentence of the day, he said, "Yea I better, cause I could have Grandpa give it to me like he wanted to do, or I can buy it".  That sentence proved to be prophecy for all of us the entire day.  But it sure caused us to laugh alot.
  Trisha had been wanting an old phone for one of her patrons, Becky didn't know Dad had already gave her one, she gets excited when she sees a box of old phones being auctioned off.  She starts bidding on them, gets the bid at $5.00, then ask which phone did she win, Jeff tells her, "honey, you get them all, the whole box" .  So here she comes carrying this big box of phones to Trisha, saying "look Mom, I got you some phones".  When she leaves, Trisha looks at me and says, "what am I going to do with those?"   hahah.   Come to think of it,  I don't think Trisha ever bid on anything!!!!
  At one point, Niki says, I want those wheels over on Tom's lot.  So here goes Niki, Becky & I to get those wheels (during the auction) and we roll them behind the car they won't get sold.  (This was the same point Becky was suppose to get the cabinet #99 bought!!)    We didn't realize at the time, she would be bidding on alot of stuff that day.  She  had "hired" Jesse Lee to watch Delani Jo through the day, so she could see all that was happening through the day.  I have no idea how much stuff Justin had to load up at the end of the day!!!
  Tuff, well he was at the bridge most of the day........see, he was digging up all of us a cedar tree and putting them in cups and cans for us to take home.  By us, I mean, myself, Trisha, Letha, Cathy, Julie, and anyone else he could talk into needing a tree to plant.  I ask him once what he was digging them up with, ..... his hands!!!!               Going ....DOWN TO THE BRIDGE",......  that  phrase will be another reason for writing  down  happening  for  our memories someday. Everyone of us, no matter what our age, at times in our life,  hollared "I'm going down to the Bridge".
   At one point Clint walked by me,  happy-happy, carrying a bag of golf clubs.  He said, "Boy, this is fun.  I think our family oughta go to auctions all the time, you can get some really good stuff.  And besides, all of the family gets to be together".   Isn't that great when even the young men in the family likes for all the "family" to be together.
  Niki bought a water can.
  Timmy bought a busted water can.
  Timmy bought an  Air Compressor and then he bought another  air compressor.  I said,"Why did you buy 2 air compressors"?  Well, he got one of them for Billy, cause he didn't have the money right now (cause he's building a new garage) and he's gonna pay Tim back later.  Cousins, God did a good thing when he made them!!!!
 Jeff, well, he buys the boat and motor.  He decides it needs to stay in the family.  We were all watching that bid!!!!!   Tim was right there with him, urging him on.  Boating,  skiing, fishing, camping, trot line running,..........  the boat and motor is staying in the family.
  Johnny Crawford kept bidding on stuff.  HA, half the time, the whole family didn't know it and they were bidding against each other.  Johhny would say, "Did I get it?".   He was suppose to be at a ball game in the afternoon, but......he didn't make it.
   Becky  bids on the cement flower pots (she could have got for free the day before) and gives them to Barb!   Another flower is sitting there by them and Letha bids on it.  She gets it for a dollar, says "Did I get it?  What did I get?"  She didn't have a card and Tim told her she could use it, and he pays her dollar.  We were laughing so hard, here sits the women in the golf carts and Letha sitting there bidding on a flower. Even Jim the auctioneer was laughing then.
  They are auctioning off the mine derrick, ...  someone says "Susie's husband bought it"....I thought, thats Lloyd.  I walked over and ask him, "You didn't buy that derrick did you"....yes he did.  Found out later he gave it to Bob Bradens wife Becky (he works for Lloyd).   Boy, I was so glad I did the victory dance, hehe.    Then later Bob buys a work table for Lloyd and gets real excited when he finds out he didn't really get all he thought he did.  He came over to Lloyd and said, "Boss, you gotta come here for a minute". 
  One of the funniest lines of the day was when Julie crossed her arms and said "We can play hard ball too".  See, they brought in this car to sell, Dad's $ paid for the advertising on it, and it really irritated me, but.....Dad told me to not say anything about it, it would be okay.  He is Nice!!!  They auction the car off, the person that got the bid, he leaves, he don't have the money to pay for it, (heheh).  So they are going to auction it off again.  Julie and Niki decide the 3 of us are going to buy it, and make money on it.  They want to get at least $1800.00 out of it, we are only willing to give $1000.00.  They keep looking at us to make another  bid, and Julie says, "Huh-un,  we can play hard ball too".  heehe,  the car didn't sell.
  Food!!!!  we had so much food.  Cathy made a huge pot of Chilli and Vegetable soup, we had fritos, crackers, cheese, chips, pop, sweets, ....for all the family all day.  Even Mom's family, The Spear's, (after much urging from all of us)  that came was able to eat with us through the day. It was a real blessing for all of us and exactly like Mom would have wanted.
When all was over, we had Jesse and Felicia go to Miami and get pizza and we had supper together also.  The scriptures say in Proverbs, Its better to eat soup with a friend, than steak with an enemy!!!!  Isn't that true,   we could have had nothing but bread and water, and it would have tasted good, just being together. 
  When they were auctioning off the stuff out of the house, Dad didn't just pay alot of attention....but when they started on his junk he was right there in the middle of it all.  :-)  He did good on his mining pictures and when they were auctioning those, I told Trisha to look.  On the cellar was standing, Becky, Jeff, Timmy, Jesse, Jo Jo, Clay, Josie....they were making sure everying was being done right!!! That was a pretty picture.
  Gayle, who is just a miracle to be able to walk,  rode around in the golf cart  - I looked up and Gene was with him.  Again, cousins,  ain't it great!
  If I am not mistaken, I believe Julie got a cross-cut saw for her birthday from her sweeties that day also.
  We would tease Trisha and tell her Buddy was buying more than he even was!!!!   She would say "Budddddd"! :-)
 For awhile, we had all the babies there,  Delani Jo, Kale, and Jonas.  The only sad part of the day was Corey & Brittney had to work. We missed them!
  Oh yea,  I bought an old lunch bucket and an old cement bucket. Jim, the auctioneer was bidding against me, then he sees its me, and stops.  I told him he didn't have to stop, but he did.  Now what am I going to do with a cement bucket????
  The autioneers Grand-daughter was there, and she and Clay played together through out the day.   That makes a day better for any kid - to have a friend to play with.
  At the end of the day, Jim, the auctioneer, came up and shook my hand.  He wanted to thank Lloyd and I for calling him to do the auction, and told me how much he enjoyed the day.  He said, "Your family is really something, I am glad I got to be with you all, it was a real special day. "......I think that is a compliment, when a family can still have fun, even when the homeplace stuff is leaving.
  The day after the auction, Sunday, we had dinner, and we were able to have it in Dad's garage.  Where did all that floor space come from?  I heard alot say, "I didn't know that cabinet was in here".  It was a real windy day, so it worked out good.  Dad seemed relieved.  Tired, but relieved.  He just had to put a few dollars with his auction $, and him and Letha  went at the beginning of the week and bought a new Kabota tractor.  Ain't that great!!!!!
  Time changes so many things, but I guess we have to learn to roll with it and give it to the Lord.  I know there is so much more - but for now I will stop.  This is just some of the things I remember, let me know yours and we will add them too.
  Blessed?  I am blessed!!!   So is each and everyone in this family.  See, we aren't  just  family,   we're   friends!  Did you know the first thing God instituted was Family!!!!!!  Before he started even the church, he started family,  how much He loves us.
Hope you enjoyed remembering the day with me. 
Billie Joe's daughter,
Susie Jo