With auction closing looming, this is exciting time …

   I used to have a job where the whole year’s work would distill down to the results of a four-day stretch in the middle of August and a week-long period in February. Fifty weeks of work all directed toward the doings that would take place in 11 days.
   That was when I was public relations coordinator for the Empire State Games in New York, and the 11 days, of course, were those involving the four days of the summer games in Syracuse and the week’s worth of the winter festivities in February in Lake Placid. For a guy who had worked primarily at a daily newspaper where you were expected to come up with tangible results literally every work day, gearing my efforts for two brief periods each year was a major change in the workday strategy.
  (Shown is original artwork of Walter Johnson by acclaimed artist Darryl Vlasak, one of three striking pieces he has consigned to the sale.)

 I mention this because we find ourselves this morning in a similar kind of situation with the closing of our first auction sometime this evening, or even better, sometime early tomorrow morning. I know that the pressures of business put considerable demands in terms of revenue generation and all that good stuff, but I find myself more taken with the inner workings of the auction business, which I have always found fascinating.
   I have always had enormous respect for the people who do auctions for a living – much as I do for card and memorabilia dealers – because I have a real feeling for how much is actually involved in doing all of those things successfully. Our sortie into the auction arena has only increased those feelings.
   In the same vein, the move into auctions also reminded me of something else from another point in my journalism career, maybe 20 years ago. I had been the editor of a weekly newspaper in Delaware for several years and was, for lack of a better expression, getting pretty burned out on the job. And out of the blue, we started developing our own black-and-white photography for the newspaper, and the process of adding that new skill and chance for creative new tinkering promptly revitalized me for a couple of more years.
   And no, I am not suggesting I am burned out as editor of Sports Collectors Digest, but merely noting that finding new avenues to learn and grown is important even in a job where the creative opportunities ought to be virtually unlimited.
   I had a lot of fun helping to write up the auction descriptions and I hope to have a bit of fun this evening manning the telephones. There’s some really cool stuff in this auction, and I’d like nothing better than to be running back and forth from the vault to the telephone to describe the centering or corners on this or that baseball card.
   I always really enjoyed the electricity that surrounded some of the early auctions I covered for SCD, and I’m hoping we’ll re-create some of that energy tonite.
   Because of the demands on getting SCD out the door on Friday morning, I probably won’t be able to do any blogging about the auction until the weekend or Monday morning. In the meantime, check it out by clicking on the auction button on the home page.
   And call me tonite if you have questions. As they say, operators will be standing by.

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