|"Spoons" during live auction at 2011 Heart-2-Heart Event. Photo courtesy of Tim Siegert Photography.|
My job here at the Cyber-bistro is to serve you. Whether I'm cleaning up my stories in the editing room or cooking fresh recipes in the kitchen, I'm here to serve you. And every once in a while I come out of the kitchen to interact with you.
One year ago, my church asked me to host a fun-filled evening with fine food, a live auction and a night of dancing. I spoke in front of the crowd about my writing journey and thanked them for allowing me to be their auctioneer, even though I never attempted it before that memorable evening. I told the audience the highest bidder would be getting a collection of books from my writing friends along with the very first autographed collector's copy of my first book ever published, God's Black Sheep Squadron. Even though I was inexperienced, both as an auctioneer and as a writer, the hands kept going up. I started the bidding at twenty-five dollars. The hand-raising continued. Fifty dollars. Seventy-five dollars. One hundred dollars. My heart pounded. The crowd rumbled in excitement as the bidding topped two hundred dollars. Then three hundred. Three hundred and twenty five. Going once. Going twice. Sold. And Joan Brouillette became the proud owner of my first book off the printing press. The second highest bidder donated a check for one hundred dollars to bring the grand total to $425. I was stunned.
If anything could top the way I felt on that amazing night, it was my conversation with my pastor after the auction closed. "I didn't know you're an auctioneer," he said.
"Neither did I. I just wanted to save our church some money so I volunteered."
"Will you do it again next year?" he asked.
And that's how your Cyber-bistro chef went from his bus boy job at Rafael's Arbor down the street from Sunnyslope High School to writing and speaking thirty five years later. Some people still call me Spoons. And a few of these classmates are now V.I.P.'s at my cyber hangout. On February 18, I will put away my chef's hat for the night and host another dinner/dance/auction at Barona Casino. Many writers prefer to stay in the kitchen. Not this writer. Spoons loves to entertain. And when the last item is auctioned off, I will return to the kitchen at the Cyber-bistro to work on your next gourmet meal. If you like your experience here, fill out your comment below and send it to the chef.