By Denise DuBois
Last Friday night, Seale artist Butch Anthony took over the auction known as Possum Trot.
“I was raised in this Possum Trot. My daddy built this place in 1976 as a barbecue place. All the local folks hung out here every Friday night. There was a band in there and one time they had a possum race here in 1980, I think it was, with live possums. Like 5,000 folks showed up back then,” Anthony said.
When an old Pittsview auction closed down, the locals asked him what he thought about building one himself. Anthony said, “Well we’ll just build one right up here. We didn’t know if it was going to work or not, but it’s been going ever since.”
That was in 1992.
Anthony said people find stuff from all over to bring to the auction and sell. Ronnie and Julie Taylor, regulars at the Possum Trot, talked about a box of ammunition they bought for $17.
“I’ve currently made over $3,000 for that lot,” Ronnie said.
Anthony told a story about a few bobble head dolls that were purchased for $21 at the auction. The buyer put them on ebay and resold them for about $2,600. An old nickle fan from a hotel that someone found and brought to the auction sold for $50. A few sellers later and the fan was purchased for a fan museum for $10,000.
“There’s no tellin’ how many truck loads of junk have come through here. There’s no recycling center in Russell County, so this is like the Russell County recycling center,” he laughed.
“That’s an excellent description,” Julie said.
Anthony ran the auction until 2002 when his dad took it over until 2010. For the last eight years, it’s been run by two others, but they decided to turn it over.
“I’ll get it going,” Anthony said. “We may even get the pickers back down here. One time we had the American Pickers come down.”
In addition to the things everybody brings to sell, Anthony is going to auction off an original piece of art with no reserve. It might draw some new people to the auction, he said.
“People tell me they can’t afford my art no more. Well, come down here. You might get it for $5,” he said.
Anthony is known for his Museum of Wonder. It’s appeared in multiple museums. It features bones and other items that people don’t know what to do with, he said.
“Trash into treasure,” Anthony said.
The Possum Trot auction is every Friday night. Get there at 6:30 p.m. ET to find a good seat and to have the chance to look over the things you might want. The auction is located at 4776 Old Seale Highway.