The rules were simple. The highest bidder acknowledged by the auctioneer shall be the purchaser. In the event of a dispute between bidders, the auctioneer shall have sole and final discretion to determine the successful bidder. Successful bidders must pay up right away.
That, declared, the “Possible Dreams” auction to benefit the seven agencies of Martha’s Vineyard Community services could begin. Auctioneer Doug Garron, standing on the porch above the 100 or so bidders assembled in the Harborside Inn garden, dispensed with each “dream” neatly, and his efforts put $1,768 into the coffers of Community Services.
Besides the nice weather on Sunday evening, this auction was a special one - all the items up for bids were once-in-a-lifetime chances to do or see or own a unique item, all donated by Island folk and summer visitors.
For two hours, the garden was filled with the sounds of going-going-gones, and Mr. Gannon’s questions: “I got ten dollars. Do I hear fifteen? Fifteen? I got fifteen. Fifteen! Do I hear twenty? Twenty? How about twenty? I got twenty! Let’s have thirty. No thirty?” And so on.
Herewith, the outcome:
Steve Frieschmann will tend lobster traps with Matthew Poole for a day.
For $10, Tim Chilton bought himself a chance to unload fishing boats at Boggess’s pier with Benny the Lumper.
Twenty dollars got Victor Reilling of Woodbury, Ct., a trip for two as the captain’s guests in the pilot house on the Islander. One catch: neither Mr. Reiling nor his guest can get off at Woods Hole.
Alley’s Store will have a new Sunday Times vendor one Sunday coming up - Tim Chilton.
Maude Chilton said she’d be up at 7 a.m. to bake pies and breads at Humphrey’s Bakery.
Mary Jacobson gets a lesson in seaweed collage from Rose Treat.
For $35, Steve Frieschmann will get a flight around and over the Island with Dottie Farrar.
Go fly a kite! And look for Shirley Frisch at the next Vineyard kite festival - she’ll be one of the judges.
To the cheers of two friends by the Harborside pool, Suzanne Chlastawa threw in $7 to be a bartender at the Boston House.
David Haigh bid $100 from his porch at the Harborside for a tour of the private West Wing of the White House. Mr. Haigh won a vigorous bidding battle for his dream, and he’ll be the only one privy to the intriguing secret - who donated the possible dream, anyway?
Jeff Young will have to supply his own hard hat and gloves when he gets his lesson in how to drive E. A. Pachico’s largest front-end loader.
A mask of Gene Shalit’s face, done by Willa Shalit, went to the highest bidder Jeff Norton for $70.
For $65, Bea Brown will get a four-wheel vehicle trip overlooking the Cape Pogue and Wasque Wildlife Refuge.
Tim Chilton will get to live out his dream to be air traffic controller - at least for one Friday afternoon. That was $30 for Mr. Chilton.
For the same price, David Squire gets a private nature walk with Anne Hale through a mutually agreed upon area.
Maurice Weill will get a special tour of the lobster hatchery, and will have the pleasure of seeing giant lobsters.
Curtis Houghton gambled $40 fir a day on the commercial fishing boat “Mary Verna” with Capt. Jimmy Morgan. “Does he catch fish!” was the promise that went with the possible dream.
Jane Norton spent $100 to buy Louise Kratovil of Greenwich, Ct., a trip for two on a 41-footer to Buzzards Bay tower and return.
Claudia Woldow will face Edward Brooke across a tennis court for a quick game. “If I’m really on my game, maybe I could beat him,” she said skeptically.
Laurel Samoiloff was the successful bidder for a dinner for four with Rt. Rev. and Mrs. John Burgess.
Lucky David Boyd! He’ll have the honor of a dance with Carly Simon at the Hot Tin Roof. (After spending $85 for that dream, maybe he should get there before 9 p.m. to avoid the cover charge.)
Mary Jacobson will get an energy survey of her home from Robert Woodruff of the Energy Resource Group.
Tim Chilton, an enthusiastic bidder, also got, for $35, a chance to play Oak Bluffs police chief for a day. He gets to wear the badge, anyway!
Trudy Cournoyer generously bid $115 to have a chance to model for the master of the Field Gallery.
Two members of the Gazette staff withstood a challenging bid contest with financial help from a friendly donor, to emerge the winners for mention in Art Buchwald’s syndicated column. The prize went for $105.
Sixty dollars bought Reine Silon a trip to Cuttyhunk on the tug “Taurus” and a tour of the giant windmill with Ralph Packer.
David Squire will be the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Vance Packard at the Packards’ Chappy Home.
Marty Woldow, a Phillies fan at heart, will have house seats at a Red Sox game, and his picture taken with his favorite player.
Victor Reiling and a guest will have the honor of a sail with Walter Cronkite on his boat. Mr. Reiling, who bid from the steps at the back of his garden, paid $225 for that dream.
For $55, Judith Miller gets to be a crew member of the Shenandoah.
Claudia Woldow will sport a furlined leather jacket worn by Mia Farrow during the shooting of one of her movies.
Joseph Eldridge will give Jim Blaine some tips on how to winterize his home without spoiling its original character.
Mary Houghton, for $30, led the bidding field for a chance to pick beach plums and make preserves at the Beach Plum Inn.
Finally, for $30, Martha Vietor will get a flight over the Vineyard with Bob Anderson.
After it was all over, stragglers paid their bills at the small table set up at the front of the garden. Mr. Garron’s makeshift auctioneer’s platform was cleared away. Competing bidders asked one another how high they would have gone to realize their possible dreams.
“I think it went very well. It gives people a chance to see the ‘doers’ of the Island,” Community Services head George Ireland said of the auction.