This is the first time I’ve been to Martin’s Auction representing Driving Digest. Who goes to Martin’s? Everyone! It is truly a gathering place for carriage drivers from around North America. Sometimes even from around the world. Some come to sell, some come to buy, for others it is merely a social event.
The first people Richard and I saw were Jody and Gregg Cutler from California. Then old friend Polly Petersen from Ohio. Others from Quebec and Ontario. Amish and Mennonite. Young and old. I think we saw more friends from Michigan than we see when we are in Michigan. (We will be in Southern Pines for a few more weeks.) Dona Love from Florida said she could now cross this off her bucket list.
On Thursday, there is a flurry of unloading, checking in, getting bidder numbers, catalogs, and looking around while the staff tags and sets things out in the big building.
The official start this year was a reception on Thursday at 6 p.m. with beer, wine, snacks, and talks. Yours truly spoke about Driving Digest, Heidi from D. D. Rapps talked about hats, aprons, and other accessories; Jill Ryder from the Carriage Association of America showed a new DVD about the CAA. Paul Martin talked about a new Scurry Racing class that he hopes will gain popularity in the U.S. The Coaching Club talked about their plans for a couple of drives this fall.
The Driving Digest table was located in an ideal location, in the main auction room where everyone had to pass by. Many people stopped to introduce themselves and explain that they were long time subscribers and still have all the issues! It was very nice to hear so many encouraging comments about our new role as publishers. We also met several advertisers which was really great.
It is still a buyer’s market, and some really beautiful carriages went for less than they deserved.
Tomorrow all the activity will be in the field. Everything imaginable – most carriage related, but certainly not all – will be auctioned off at a fast and furious pace.
If you haven’t been to Martin’s – put it on your bucket list.