| December/January 2000

9712 N.W. 31st Avenue Vancouver, Washington 98665

Announce it and they will come! And so it was that we arrived at the family farm of Alvin and Esther Buller, longtime residents and farmers in Hampton, Nebraska, to attend the Buller Auction on August 4-5, 2000.

As we approached, the tall corn seemed to nod as we passed, and soon an opening in the freshly cut alfalfa field drew our attention. There, like little soldiers, row upon row of stationary gas engines stood, neatly placed on pallets, proudly awaiting inspection!

A closer look revealed a modest home built on the site where Alvin Buller was born some eighty years ago and which is now occupied by his son Paul and wife, Dianne. We could see family members preparing for the auction, marking parking areas, moving flatbed trailers filled with engine paraphernalia including magnetos, oilers, cranks and more. Alvin's daughters, Norma from Denton, Texas, and Donna from Bradshaw, Nebraska, were visiting in the background and watching brother Paul as he spoke briskly on his two-way radio.

The first day of the auction dawned with a heavy mist. Irrigation was in full swing and combined with the 'sweat' of the corn, left the air heavy with moisture. Lonnie Nixon, the auctioneer, readied his crew and by 9:00 a.m. began the two-day event asking for bids on a long row of old carts and wheels. The sun broke through just as the magnetos were auctioned. My husband Bob had eyed them carefully the day before and had positioned himself within easy view of Lonnie's sharp eyes! Rick Rohrs, a well-known auction attendee, was also prepared to bid. The items sold quickly, the John Deere Model E with the 6 HP gear, the Wicos and the Websters as well as many two, three and four cylinder types.

Delicious aromas from Woody's Barbecue wafted across the farm yard, and many buyers sauntered over to take advantage of the beef, pork and brot sandwiches, some accumulating tabs as they returned time and again for refills of soft drinks and iced tea.


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