It is a long drive from Bloomington — you might feel you’ve gotten lost on a narrow road somewhere between Montgomery and a haystack. But be patient. Enjoy the view, the rich smell of gravel dust and cow manure. Crest a few modest hills and … voilà. There it is. Dinky’s.
On auction night, the expansive parking lot at Dinky’s Auction Center quickly fills up with cars and trucks (mostly trucks), and horses and buggies are all tethered to a long, hand-fashioned wood-and-iron fence behind the auction house. The musky smells and sounds of ducks and chickens, rabbits and goats, blend with those of humans on a humid summer evening as the music of the auctioneers rings above the chatter of potential buyers.
People savor French fries and fish sandwiches while watching the show: the auctioneer’s ever-droning, rhythmic voice punctuated by the whoops of the “caller” as he spots bidders in the crowd. Dinky’s is true down-home Indiana culture — an Indiana tradition, as far as Amish country is concerned.
The auction center — which is south of Odon on County Road 900 E in Daviess County — opened 20 years ago, and Friday nights still draw throngs of people looking for that particular tractor hook-up, that perfect piece of barn wood to decorate their home, or simply a fun time with friends. Where else will you find antique collectors from Indianapolis, a few curious hipsters from Bloomington, an affable family from Evansville, a slew of old-timers and business-minded farmers, and, of course, the Amish regulars, all mingling with such joviality?
Limestone Post videographer TJ Jaeger talks to owner Levi Raber in this intimate look into life at Dinky’s where history is alive and well. As they like to say, “You never know what treasures you will find in the heart of Indiana’s Amish country!”