Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Crow's Nest Epilogue Blood Farm 8

Epilogue Blood Farm 8

            Uncle’s Auctions is …northeast out of Mechanic Falls (Maine) toward West Minot but one turns left halfway up then bares right after a bit and …keeps going to just when one is sure one is lost… to come upon a farm on the left with a hand-painted-in-white on an old board SIGN… on a stick by the road reading “UNCLE’S”.  The farm consists of an old Civil War era farm house connecting through an attached shed labyrinth to an equally old barn that has a companion but newer 1900’s barn to the left of it.  THIS barn is the “auction hall”.  A larger than usual dirt and mud parking area is before these barns.  On auction days a folding sign, again hand painted in white, is set up below the “UNCLE’S” sign and reads “AUCTION TODAY”.
            On those days not only is “someone there” but the farm yard is active with trucks, men, a few women and a local catering van.  On other days there is nothing in sight and no one… excepting the auctioneer’s wife inside the farm house watching television… is there.  “I CAN HAVE HIM CALL YOU LATER IF YOU WANT.” stated by the wife is what one gets if inquiring at the farm house on a non-auction day.  Uncle’s is, in short, a very, very low key, low profile, rural Maine family run auction company that has …weekly – bi-weekly – monthly “when we FEEL like it” auctions.  Locals follow Uncle’s.  A few out of area dealers do too.  That’s about it.
            ON an auction day beginning “after lunch” and before the 3:00 PM “pre-auction” preceding the 5:00 PM “auction”… local trucks with local men arrive and line up politely with their truck beds exposing the …treasure (read rubbish) they “HAVE BROUGHT TO SELL”… in the pre-auction WITH THE HOPE that Uncle himself will select a few “better” items to fill out his “auction” at five.  Rain or snow on the day of the auction diminishes “turn out” for the pre-auction.  Otherwise it’s a “GO” especially if by some FLUKE a rubbish load actually DOES HAVE “something good” and that sets of an ever growing crowd for the five o’clock auction AND at the catering van.  The following day, after a “something good” turned up at Uncle’s auction, Maine antiquarian gossip churns out “a hum in the trade” for the WHOLE WEEK.  Otherwise, one never hears ANYTHING about “Uncle’s”.
            I know of and about Uncle’s.  I have attended… or at least “pre-viewed”… the main auctions… sometimes.  I am in contact with dealers who “know all about it” (Uncle’s current or latest auction).  It is one of many similar auction companies in the state.  Do not under estimate them.  I do not.
            For the contents of Blood Farm… and its disappearance… Uncle’s is the key.  The contents of Blood Farm falls off the edge of the earth at Uncle’s.  It is the bottom rung on the ladder of Alice’s “then it is gone”.  It is a ladder of thievery.  The top rung is Mr. Lawyer.  He “HAS” Blood Farm through the mother’s estate (“trusted”) and it is retuned back to him after the trust expires… to be part of all of the rest of the funds in the estate… under his watch.  The second rung is Mr. Lawyer’s brought in pet auctioneer who… knows in seconds exactly the treasure trove he sees but says nothing and …down plays it all; “DON’T WORRY I’LL GET this rubbish filled fire trap ALL CLEANED OUT”.  HE begins a mental dance of musical chairs right away for there is simply too much there to “fail” meaning “to abscond with”.  His thievery is careful and selective.  He has his own crew to do the clean out.  They do their work unsupervised and their thievery is opportunist.  But the estate is SO big and SO full, he needs …trusted… help to cover ALL of the possible selective thievery.  Uncle’s uncle is… trusted.  HE is careful and selective TOO.  HE has a crew too.  THEY are opportunists TOO.  Little is said.  EVERYTHING… EVERY THING… is “cleaned out”.
            Two trucks before lunch everyday go into Uncle’s barns full and… one comes out empty and “goes back”.  That is filled and “goes to the coast”.  Meanwhile the crews …working alone and separated… “have opportunities” they take.  Uncle is there watching for opportunities himself and those go “into the truck”.  HE watches the unloading of the trucks in the barns …as best he can.  The pet auctioneer is “trusted” with Uncle’s to “sell that stuff” they truck to his barns.  But:  There is soooo much stuff… it’s hard to watch all of it…  all the time… especially if … anyone of them didn’t “see it” to begin with.  The auctioneer has his hands full, Uncle has his handful and… the crew has THEIR HANDS, pockets, pants, boots and hats FULL TOO.  Just like rows of dominos falling down toward the edge of the earth, the contents of Blood Farm… vanishes.  Oh… there are piles of Blood Farm stuff here, there and all over… should anyone ask anyone.  But no one does and it wouldn’t amount to anything anyway because …no one actually knows what was actually in Blood Farm except Alice and… she didn’t write anything down (that anyone has ever seen) AND …is dead.
            I did start previewing Uncle’s auctions right away.  I continued that for two years and now have slacked off.  They sold plenty from Blood Farm slowly, steadily and quietly.  I slacked off because they slacked off.  It’s over.  These days Blood Farm contents is scattered all over the state “for sale” in “antiques shops”.  It just doesn’t say “Blood Farm” on it.  As I stood with the fire chief… who was chewing down his last donut… all of the above and its probability passes through my mind.  I understood what the fire chief had just told me …very well.

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