For years I had used Saturdays to finish up the messages for Sunday. Charity was always trying to get me to take Saturday off and be with the family. I always seemed to say I was busy.
For some reason on that nice summer day I had read in the newspaper there was an auction. Now if you live in Kansas, you learn about auctions. Cattle auctions, etc. Well I had never been to one except the time Don Songer took me to a cattle auction. Don said “Don’t move, or they will think you are buying one of those cattle.” I was lucky to get out of there without buying a large cow.
In 1996 I heard that this auction had baseball cards to sell. We were just getting into collecting baseball and basketball cards with Eric, Chad and Kyle. I wanted something we could do together. I did not fish, even though there was a great place to fish at the dam at the end of our block where we lived. I must have been the only man in Altoona who did not fish. And I didn’t hunt. “You don’t hunt!” That was a mark against me in Altoona, too. Duck, deer, quail, rabbit, moose, pheasant..
I didn’t even know how to shoot a gun which was also bad for me in Altoona. Don Songer allowed me to shoot a shotgun on my 40th birthday. Once I might add. Then Kurt Nunnenkamp opened up a hunting guide place and has been very successful, I might add. But I didn’t have the nerve to try hunting.
So I thought, how about collecting baseball and basketball cards with the boys. Back to the auction. We read that about 50 miles from Altoona there was this auction. I mentioned to Charity that I would like to go and take Chad. She almost fainted to think that I would be willing to travel on Saturday to an auction. So we got in the car and went to this big barn filled with stuff for auction. We never had been to one like this one. I was given a card to show if I were to buy something. Looking at all the stuff, we came across the sports section and, would you believe, they had shoe boxes of old baseball cards. As I viewed the baseball cards I became quite excited at what I saw. When the bidding was held, I bid $17. I held up my card, you know, and wiggled my nose. The auctioneer said,”How many?” I thought, all of them, but I took four boxes at a total of $17.
On the way home, I was driving and Chad was looking at the cards and so was I. We got so excited at what we found, I had to pull over and let Charity drive the rest of the way back to Altoona. Would you believe we discovered several Cal Ripkin, Jr. rookie cards, Eddie Murry’s rookie card, several Willie Mays’s old cards, several Pete Rose’s old cards,.plus about 2500 other good baseball cards from the 1960's & 70's, & 80's. What a jackpot of great baseball cards!
I wish I had taken more time years earlier with Chad and the boys, but I am glad to report that Chad today is doing well in life. He is a fine young man and is managing a hotel in Lexington, Kentucky.
This is a true story. Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant, Proof read by Charity, Experience by Chad Whisnant