Maybe my favorite thing about the auction, is the actual auction itself. I mean, who doesn’t love an auctioneer? Do I hear a thousand, thou thou thou, do I hear a thousand? And the guy we usually use is so distinctly Texan in the way he talks, I just love it. I feel like I’m in Abernathy, sitting in my Grandmother’s kitchen, listening to those old farmers boast and tell tall tales. The excitement of it, the electricity, it’s really indescribable. The best, best part of the whole night is when he auctions off the flag. For a couple of years we sat next to a couple and the husband started off the bidding with a loud and proud, “San Jacinto College, one thousand dollars!” And he would laugh because he knew he was going to lose. It didn’t matter. Aggies, longhorns, group of random, out-of-state colleges. We were all going to lose. Because of one very generous family.
Shawn and Stephanie Holzhauser.
Through happenstance, church people, and the Police Officer’s Union, I got to sit at their table at our first auction, when both of our children were in Kinder. My husband couldn’t go, and, being a kinder mom, I knew almost no one at the auction, or at the table, except for my church lady friend. The hermit in me almost didn’t go, but the extrovert in me went anyway, armed only with a couple of bottles of wine, and the supreme confidence that being carded at Kroger‘s can give a woman who had just turned 40 (#winning). It was loud and fun, and I was around all of these revelers and the people at our table, who really didn’t know each other that well either. The auction began, and by its end, a lady, who I now know to be Stephanie, turned to me in semi shock and said “oh my God, my husband just bought the flag…”. I had been talking and was only vaguely aware of what was happening. LSU people were coming over to congratulate him (strong bonds/brainwashing, those geaux tiger folks) and alliances were formed. He pledged that as long as his child was at the school, the LSU flag would fly over it.
He kept his word. Until last year when the Tigers lost to the Cougs. But I suspect that was only out of mercy.
Through the years, this family has been extremely generous to OFE, in their own, quiet way. Never demanding anything in return. I spoke to Stephanie to get her permission before I wrote this post. They are so humble about it, I wasn’t even sure you guys would get to read it. But she summed up the reason for their generosity by telling me that while their jobs prohibit them from giving their time to the school, this is how they do their part. The kids needed computers that first year and they really wanted the school to meet its goal.
Jacob is in the 5th grade now. He’s headed to Frank Black next year. For the first time in 6 years, they aren’t going to the auction.
They are handing off the baton.
Who will stand that tall and grab it?