Chair Man of the Bored

As certain as a phase of the moon, a menstrual cycle, or the arrival of a utility bill, this monthly read may lift DeTour Village, pop.320  from obscurity….and enlighten the reader, especially those of you who enjoy both sitting and a good story.

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Now for the legend of the Thonet Hairpin Bentwood Chair

 

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The background: in late 2008, we lost a good friend Glen Shaw, unexpectedly (not a misprint) at age 92.  After a distinguished career as a captain on Great Lake freighters, he retired at his home in DeTour Village, MI with his lovely first mate of 72 years, Joan.  Glen and I spent many hours together.  He talked.  I listened.  In the presence of a master story-teller, writer, & wit possessed with a sharp mind and memory, listening is the best policy.

Aged 11, as a fifth grader in 1928, he watched the large old Hotel DeTour burn to the ground from a roofing tar heater gone awry. As the wooden structure incinerated, the grade schoolers were allowed to watch from the school playground across the street.  In the chaos, people ran into-and-out of the building, throwing out beds, furniture, and anything of value that was certain to be destroyed in the fire.

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After school that day, Glen picked up a chair at random and carried it home.  He kept it for 80+ years,  using it as saw horse more than once.  I noticed it, stoic and forlorn in the corner of his garage, and commented on its original finish, simplicity, and graceful design.  Over a cold beer, he relayed his chair story and vowed, ‘if I die before you, the chair is yours’.

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His darling widow, Joan, called me several months after his death and reminded me that the chair now belonged to me ( I had forgotten the promise he made, but she had not).  The chair, a Thonet, made of beech, still retains the original label on the underside, exhibiting the latest patent date of March 29, 1910.

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I can’t describe how much the chair means to me.  I use it daily when lacing my shoes.  I choose it over a deck chair when entertaining guests….and during those solitary moments when staring over Lake Huron seeking solace and inspiration.  It defines the rhythmic nature of life and the value of true friendship.  Without ever saying a word, the chair listens.

Captain Glen, old pal, you took a back seat to no one, I miss you and wish you, “four whistles, full steam ahead”.  

On being a Ba T ster *

For most Ba T sters,  arithmetic preceded interest in cars. Taking a journalist’s view, Math 101, herein is a modest introduction to a favored website, BringATrailer.com . The web identity tacitly implies that described vehicles may be ‘projects’, however that element applies to a minor %age.  The logo is hardly subtle.

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* Minimal background noise; the genesis, Jan2007, CA, ‘gearhead’ Randy Nonnenberg and  colleague, Gentry Underwood, via Texas, the UK, and now CA, shared a common interest in unusual vehicles offered for sale, foreign and domestic.  They began to share the addictive passion online, an itching Lyme Rock virus, slow growing.

Knowledgeable, self-assured, neither would ever order french toast in a German restaurant.

Nonnenberg ⬇,  Underwood ➘

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Noted writer, Rob Sass, seen in his 911, described Ba T in detail, Autoweek, Nov2015. ⬇ His must-read, best seller, “Ran When Parked”, will no doubt lead to a sequel, “Needs a Recharge”.

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Fast forward one decade, Ba T has morphed into a seismic game-changer for auctioning interesting, ‘cool’ collectible cars.

Of note, the past 30 days activity; ~late April-May 20, 2017

  • Rolling average # of daily offerings       50.31
  • total # lots offered,                                    337
  • total # sold                                                  253 (75.07% sellthru)
  • total # reserve not met                             84 (24.93%)
  • total $$, sales                              $6,545,401.00
  • average $ price/vehicle sold           $25,871.15

 

Marketing autos may be arbitrarily divided;

Tier 1   (high end auction venues)

RM Sotheby

Gooding & Co

Bonham

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Tier 2    (cattle calls)

Barrett Jackson

Leake

Mecum

Russo & Steele

Auction America (RMS subsidiary) 

Hey, you paid too much, but we’re on TV !

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Tier 3     (low end)

eBay

Hemmings (refined pulp)

Craigslist

Autotrader (pulp)

Local daily newspaper classifieds

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Tier 4     (slim to zero, overdone glam rags)

DuPont Registry

Robb Report

Prior to Ba T, a vacuum existed between tier 2 and 3.  No longer applicable, as Ba T, by simple extrapolation (multiply the figures above x 12) is a threat to all four tier’s vulnerability;

  • unbiased descriptions
  • thorough commentary by the Ba T community

Fair warning: i.e., on occasion, clumsy, clever, clairvoyant, clueless, cliquish, classic, clarifying, clinical, often challenging both spelling and grammar, but always entertaining…..pure fun, free, at your own desk, functioning mute and delete keys at the ready.

    • no tent rental, glossy ads & catalogues, lanyards, gasbag auctioneers, frantic floormen waving hankies, biker dudes with white gloves pushing cars on/off stage, EtOH-infused bidders & bimbos, klieg lights, unbuttoned velocity channel ‘stars’, clad in Peter Pan bling.  557a08a7ebca2.image

“If I overbid, you get that tattoo I promised”

  • professional site management; realistic and reasonable fee structure, real time finish, zero snipe or shill bidding.

A well-written critique of the live auction experience can be viewed here, writer unknown. Lengthy, however it encompasses parallel results, voiced by many sellers.

                      Auctionmania Circus  ⬇

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Full disclosure: the author has no ownership and/or financial interest/currency in any business entity listed herein.  Any resemblance to person/persons, living or deceased, is not coincidental.

 

©insightout2017

“Pat, I’d like to solve”

Dateline:  Tucson, AZ, 12Feb2017

Paqui Indian Reservation, Casino del Sol

 

February, dreary, overcast days, often stormy, is, by cosmic design, the shortest month.  However, tucked between Valentine’s Day to the left and President’s Day to the right is the birthday of the most attractive national icon.

Dressed in a lemon chiffon gown, pacing 15′ of runway, nightly, between the evening news and unrealistic network fare, yes….it’s Scott Pelley.

Of course, only a rumor, but if you guessed Tiger Woods or Rosie O’Donnell, strike three, you have landed on ‘lose a turn’.  Devout wheel watchers know that Feb. 18, 2017, is the 60th birthday of the beloved Vanna White.

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With the remote click → ABC’s  KGUN, Tucson, AZ, popular anchor and professional photographer, Guy Atchley, directs viewer attention to the Wheelmobile, the Casino Del Sol amphitheater, and your chance to become a contestant on America’s favorite game show.  Why not ?

Sooo, several thousand hopefuls show up, vieing for the opportunity to ‘audition’ on stage, be interviewed, and participate in puzzle solving.  Few, however, are chosen, as names are drawn from the golden drum, a lottery like device without ping-pong balls.  Odds on being selected, ~ 1 in 50.DSCN3708

The atmosphere is electric.  Hopefuls arrive, some in costume, carrying signs.  Loudspeakers blast away the Isley Brothers, “Shout”, women dance on the stairs, the emcee works the crowd into revival tent frenzy.  Gospel, rock, camera, lights, resort vacations, cruises, a chance to win one million $, oh the humanity.

By divine intervention, I am the 8th name drawn.

Entering stage right, 1st, sign the release statement, 2nd, pose for an official photo, 3rd, be seated and take instruction on behavior from the staff sargeant (Justin Timberlake look-a-like). DSCN3714

Justin, a Wheel employee, moves in on a KGUN staff member, no papparazzi, please.

If you’ve ever been arrested and booked, this is similar, however contestants are not allowed the one phone call.  Seems fair enough, as there is no fingerprinting, polygraph, or urine sample required….let’s party.

The ‘faux’ Vanna is a lovely young woman, ⅓ the age of the real article, adept at printing letters, but may have partied last night.DSCN3719

Our team solves the puzzle, the prize wheel is spun, and five of us win the big surprise, a Wheel of Fortune exercise bag, containing;

  • baseball cap
  • tee shirt
  • key fob
  • lapel pin
  • bookmarks

Who is reading books…?…. this is delerium.  Halleluia, Sister Vanna.  Will any of us be selected to appear on the show ?  Not so fast.  A few, perhaps, but only if invited to the next level audition in a month.  Pre-requisite vetting, background check, and signing a non-disclosure agreement may be on tap, all of which narrow this writer’s chance to zero.DSCN3724

Finally, when asked to pose with a two dimensional Vanna, a quick blast of desert air forces her to assault my hand in an inappropriate advance, a cardboard calamity.  Under advice from legal counsel, I’ve been advised to sue for damages; emotional anguish, sexual battery.  

120 volts of embarrassment.

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Naturally, as a compassionate soul, the charges will be dismissed should I be selected to appear, live, on the Sony Pictures, Hollywood stage set.

Later, after sibling counseling and 0.5 mgm Xanax®, my brother and his wife prep the family pet, Foxy, to exhibit the day’s bounty.  None of which will be seen on Animal Planet© or eBay©.

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Foxy, a professional actor, received compensation for this appearance..

Will my bucket list be fulfilled…meeting Vanna in person ?

Will Sony be willing to settle amicably, out of court ?
Stay tuned……….

and Happy Six-Oh, Vanna

 

References to Sony Pictures©, Wheel of Fortune©, courtesy of Merv Griffin Enterprises©, all rights reserved

©insightout2017