Cool & Weird Stuff auction held in Venice

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VENICE, FLA. - A large crowd gathered at Bates RV in Venice Saturday morning not for RV’s but for an auction.

“It is just a huge auction, everything from farm equipment to Harleys to bird cages to anything you can think of,” said Bates RV president Frank Bates.

The auction included totem poles, an antique prosthetic arm and leg and a glass bottom boat. It is what Bates calls the Cool and Weird Stuff Auction.

“We take a lot of weird stuff on trade whenever we are trying to make a deal, what ever we have to do to make a deal we do it and we have taken any thing from mausoleums to golf carts to tanning beds to what ever,” said Bates.

He says every few years they clean house by holding the auction. Scott Lund, visiting from New York, attended the auction and was high bidder for a Terry Bradshaw autographed football.

“We’ve got four boys and we are all big Steelers fans so this will go real nice in the game room back home,” Lund told ABC 7.

Bates says the large turn out for his auction is proof the economy has rebounded nicely and is doing well.

“People are going to have fun, you know, you can only keep them from having fun so long,” laughed Bates.

“We came out not really expecting to buy anything and ended up with a volcano and a fertility god,” said Renee Giles. She and her fiancé were also hoping to buy a huge model sailboat.

“Captain Mac and I are owners of Black Duck Charters located here in Venice Florida so we are very into the nautical, tropical theme,” said Giles.

Mark Eicher patiently waited for the auctioneer to get around to the item he was interested in, an antique, rust covered, GM battery display shelf.

“ Nobody wants GM stuff now,” said Eicher referring to GM's recent recall problems.

But a more truthful explanation might be nobody wants the shelf because it is a rusted out piece of junk. But that, says Eicher, is part of the shelf's beauty. He thinks it is something you might find on a show called American Pickers.

“They would just say that’s beautiful and I say the same thing.”

If you missed Saturday’s auction, Frank Bates says his stores will continue taking trades for anything that doesn’t eat and in four years they will once again clean house to get rid of all their weird and cool stuff accumulated while making deals.