Business

Last call for Secoma Auction comes Friday

"Woody Woodward's Secoma Auction is packing up, perhaps for good.The Federal Way auction has been a Friday night staple for 22 years at the building it occupied on Pacific Highway South. The building's owner has asked its tenants to leave as a new owner is taking it over.Secoma's last auction is Friday at 7 p.m. Woodward expects about 99 percent of his inventory will be sold, which shouldn't be a problem as he estimates he sells from 100 to 125 items an hour. Woodward says he has hundreds of items to sell and that, on average, his auctions last up to four hours.We expect standing room only, he said looking over all the knick-knacks, furniture and prints in the showroom. We have loyal customers and they'll all be here.After Woodward's rhythmic, steady cadence no longer echoes throughout the Secoma Auction, he'll likely be traveling with his auction partner and wife, Linda.The Woodwards, who've made auctioneering a family affair by raising their now grown children, Wendy and Walter, around the auction, plan to take six months off. We'll still keep the name and phone number but just work from home for a while, Woody Woodward said.However, Walter Woodward said he's keeping his eyes open for another location, possibly another warehouse where the Secoma Auction will be revived after the family's hiatus from the 10-hour days, six days a week. Both Wendy and Walter put in their share of work at the family business.Woody Woodward says he isn't bitter about the move. He must vacate by Aug. 31.I'm still pro-auction, he said. Especially for young people because it's a good way to get furniture without carrying a lot of debt. If you wait long enough, something you like will come through the auction.Up on the auction block ready for bid is just about anything the mind can imagine - dishes, chairs, dining sets, even a foot-high authentic German beer stein.Woodward is still debating whether or not to sell a print he's grown fond of over the years. In the middle of his showroom hangs a 1938 print of a young woman waiting at a bus stop with an armful of groceries. Her undergarments have fallen to her ankles. It's a scene Woodward says he remembers seeing that happen to a young lady when he was 6 years old.You don't forget something like that so I had to have that picture, he said.But in a strange twist of fate not too long ago, a woman approached Woodward about the print.She said the girl in that picture was her sister and she hadn't seen that picture since she'd posed for it all those years ago, Woodward said. It was taken in Seattle and her father had ripped up all the pictures he could find. She told me, 'When dad saw that picture he blistered her butt she couldn't sit down for two weeks.' Woodward hopes the sister finds her way back to the auction to buy the print Friday night. ----------------------------------To attendSecoma's last auction will begin at 7 p.m. Friday. An auction preview will begin at noon. Secoma Auction is located at 34233 Pacific Highway South. Call 838-0231 "

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