Posted tagged ‘John Deere’

The Most Surprising Thing I’ve Ever Seen in New Jersey

November 5, 2011

I thought I had seen it all.  I assumed I’d known everything there was to know about New Jersey.  I didn’t think there was anything else that could surprise me.

I was wrong.

So what’s with all the dramatics?  Well, I recently visited a part of the Armpit of America that I thought existed only in my nightmares.  No, not a Jersey City whorehouse.  Not a crack den in Camden either.  Not even Chris Christie’s private bathroom.  The place of horror was a farm auction.  In New Jersey.  About 20 minutes from cosmopolitan Princeton and at the confluence of three major highways.

The place is called the Camelot Horse auction, located in Cranbury, New Jersey.  Despite being surrounded by the Jersey Turnpike, Route 130, and Route 33, one arrives at the auction by traveling over a deteriorating road through a dark cornfield to get to a gravelly parking lot.  It’s still hard for me to believe that such a place could exist so close to the typical Jersey landscape of highways and strip malls.

I was invited to such a place by some friends who are just a tad more country than I am and certainly fit in better than I do.  After meeting up, we went inside an old barn to see the animals up for auction.  The barn was full of little stables, each holding a variety of horses, ponies, donkeys, sheep, and goats.  In another room were a bunch of cardboard boxes containing various smaller animals, like guinea pigs, rabbits, and pigeons.

Something tells me this guy ended up as someone's dinner that night.

But the main attraction of the farm auction was, appropriately enough, the auction room.  This section of the barn had bleachers along the walls, a big, rusty truck full of farm equipment, and a podium in the middle of the room for an Amish-looking auctioneer.  Adorned with a straw hat and a big, bushy beard, he presided over the bidding on items like shovels and feed buckets with the typical auctioneer gibberish. (more…)

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