The Bodine Auction and a Lot of Snow

Last Thursday, I went to an auction in Bridgeport, Connecticut. It was held at an old plant, last occupied by Bodine Electric. I couldn’t even find out much about what they did or where they went. The huge plant was a classic early-1950’s structure. I knew it was classic because they had an even larger wood block floor than Horst Engineering. These blocks have been both good and bad for Horst over the years. Currently, the wood floors are on one of my To Do lists. I need to figure out if we are keeping them or replacing them, and what that might cost. We have 7000 sq/ft to deal with.

 As for the auction, it was a sad affair. I didn’t stay long because it was all junk. The calendars on the walls were still on October, so they haven’t been closed for long. Stuff was where it was left on the last day, so I assume that it was somewhat of a surprise. The gauges were out of calibration and old. There were layers of dust on everything. The machines seemed to be in decent shape, but there was nothing modern. The usual crowd of bargain hunters and dumpster divers were present. They were mostly focused on the tooling, which filled an entire room. Who has time in today’s marketplace to waste a whole day at an auction?

I went because I was curious and was hoping to find some stuff for our 41 Cedar Street plant expansion and for our maquiladora in Nogales, Mexico. I got my bidder number, but didn’t last an hour. It wasn’t worth it. I visited a friend at Horberg Industries, also in Bridgeport. They are a precision machining company that has been around for 72 years. That’s 11 years more than our family business and quite impressive. It was neat to catch up and see what they have been up to and nice to see that they still deliver value after all these years.

The trip back was a nightmare. Just as I got onto the Merritt Parkway, the snow started to fly. When it was over the next morning, we had gotten 12 inches of the white stuff in my home town, Bolton. Traffic was snarled on every road and highway. It was sheer gridlock in Hartford and took me four hours to travel the distance that I had traveled in only one earlier in the morning. By the time I got back to the plant, a lot of folks had left and we were contemplating the cancellation of our 2nd shift. It was a pretty big storm and just might be a prediction of the kind of winter that we might have in New England in 2007-2008.

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