February 21, 2015, Phoenix-
I headed down here, this morning, to assist in the set-up for a major fund-raising auction at the Phoenix Baha’i Center, which was our primary spiritual gathering place from 2001-2011. It’s been renovated, in a big way, from the rather woeful state into which it was falling, during the time of Penny’s own physical decline. Still, it was a special place and we made do with what was available, in terms of facilities.
Now, there is a shine to the building, and a sense of new purpose. The auction will help repay some of the costs associated with the renovation: Ceramic tile flooring, larger and handicapped-accessible restrooms and the library moved to its own building.
Auctions are labour-intensive, energy-intensive. I admire the record-keeping skills and cross-coordination that went into today’s planning session. Two hours after we started hauling stuff in and setting up chairs and tables, every single item had a number, specific spot and minimum bid recorded, on the tag and in the Master Ledger, which is in pen and ink. It is also put in digital copy, for posterity.
My hosts and I went back to their apartment for a vegetarian lunch, short siesta and a round-the-table resolution of various social ills. At four o’clock, it was showtime, and we went back to the Center, for the intense bidding and good-natured haggling that accompanies a free-wheeling auction. It appears a tidy sum was raised- maybe not a Sotheby’s, Christie’s or Barrett-Jackson level, but an encouraging amount. Besides, we had a fabulous table of Persian cuisine, to accent the evening. Anyone who has never tried the exquisite noodle dish, known as Ash Resteh, would do well to put it on the bucket list.