Well, Folks, we finally did it! We moved to Cayman Brac, one of the 3 Cayman Islands, July 14, 2016. We want to thank all of you who helped us get here by coming to our auctions and spending your money. We are leaving our history below for old time's sake, but we are no longer in the business. And thank you all!
Often people will ask Doug how he decided to become an auctioneer because, unlike many other auctioneers, he was not raised in the business. He started from scratch. One evening Doug and Robin were discussing the future in the little primitive house in which they lived for their first five years together in Bath, Indiana. Doug knew he did not want to make the move from journeyman plumber to master plumber, so another profession was in order. They began to think of what he might want to do and what qualifications he had. Some of you may know how beautifully Doug sings, but the life of a singer was not something Robin wanted... They had been to an auction that day and they both thought that might be a profession in which they could work together, he with his voice and she with her retail background. Doug then researched what would be required. The state of Ohio requires a prospective auctioneer to attend classes, apprentice with an auctioneer for 12 sales, and pay the state each year to keep a license. Every other weekend, Doug and Robin and their puppy, Jorgo, would travel to Defiance, Ohio, where Doug would attend classes through the Northwest Technical College and Robin and Jorgo would sightsee. After graduating, Doug asked auctioneers in the area if they had a need for an apprentice. Bob Selby answered that call. Not only did Doug get a chance to work on his delivery and learn the trade from all aspects, but Robin got a chance to work as the cashier and to register bidders.
After apprenticing with Selby for the required time, Doug took the test in Columbus and got his license. The first auction was in the little house in Bath, Indiana, November 4, 1989. For five years they had lived in this "wooden tent" which boasted three working electrical outlets, an outdoor shower, and an outhouse. It was heated by a woodstove, which they still use. After that auction, they moved to the house in Oxford where Doug grew up. Mama Ross lived with Doug and Robin until she passed away in May of 2003. They do not have children—they will tell you they "forgot to have them"—but they have loved 3 dogs who have passed on and now have number 4, the mighty 8 pound wonder dog named Scout. You can see him in the photo gallery or visit him at an auction. In the fall of 2003, Doug and Robin bought almost an acre right on the Caribbean shore on the little island of Cayman Brac, a sister island to Grand Cayman. It reminded them of Bath, Indiana, but with an ocean, so they knew it was a great place—relaxed, quiet, non-commercial. There just isn’t much going on there, but that’s what makes it a wonderful place.
Every year, Doug’s auction business has grown. Doug can also conduct appraisals. Both Doug and Robin enjoy what they’re doing and have included workers of whom they are proud Bob "Rowdy" Pieratt has auctioned with many auctioneers in the area and has been with us for years. Our favorite redhead, Jason "Hillbilly" Sayres, Russ Westveer, Birchiel "Butch" Maupin, and Ineke "Dutch" Mesman--along with Robin--are "the A team", the ones who come into your home and organize everything for the auction. We have a list of great people whom we add on when needed.
Doug and Robin’s concerns are for their clients’ satisfaction and their buyers’ satisfaction as well. Everyone teases Doug about his concern for trash on a sale site because he takes special pains to get all trash out before sale day so the house looks as inviting as possible. The teasing arises because he uses contractor bags so that even when it’s at the curb, it looks nice... Anything recyclable gets recycled. Doug covers traffic areas inside with canvas covers to protect carpets. "Lawyer tape" is used to warn auction-goers of low ceilings or steps. All aspects of the sale and sale site are given considerable thought so that everyone is safe and property protected.