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Utah auctioneer looks back on 60 years making sales

OGDEN — An Ogden auctioneer who's practiced his craft for nearly 60 years is looking back on his long career of fast talking.

Doug Taylor, 80, has auctioned land and autos and led estate auctions as he traveled across Utah and into Wyoming over the decades, the Standard-Examiner reported. He's also volunteered to conducted auctions on behalf of numerous charitable and nonprofit organizations.

On a recent day at his regular weekly consignment sale at Doug's Auction in Ogden, he offered a rapid-fire volley of numbers as assistants walking the floor scanned the audience for bidders, barking and pointing when they spotted a would-be buyer.

"I got 70 there, now 80, 90," he said. "I got 100, now 10, now 20, now 30. I got 120, now 30. Sold for 120!"

That sale of a collection of 126 U.S. coins is over in just 30 seconds. Another item, an empty cabinet big old-fashioned radio, goes for just $5. Other items sold that day included a cast-iron pan, a military-style footlocker and an 1890 Indian head penny.

The items he auctions are brought to him by the public and he earns a cut from each sale.

Taylor started as an auctioneer in 1959. He went to auctioneering school in Beaumont, Texas, after a stint in the U.S. Air Force. He chose the job because he had a back injury and thought he might need a career where he could be seated.

He recovered, but stuck with auctioneering, even returning from retirement three times. Now, he figures he's run sales on just about everything.

"I love the auction business. I love it and respect it," he said.

Even as online auction sites such as eBay have changed the business, Taylor maintains that traditional auctions like his where people can see the things for sale live and in person still have a place.

Utah Auctioneers Association Executive Director Ronnie Snorgrass was mentored by Taylor and estimates he's likely the state's longest-serving auctioneer.

"I think he's got the record... I can't think of anybody who's been active longer than Doug," said Snorgrass, who's got 24 years under his belt.