Monday, June 21, 2010

By (Guest Blogger) Laura Bray
Bruce and I always look forward to June and the Blazing Gavels auction. Over the years, we’ve purchased art, wine, vacations, jewelry, and much more, all while supporting our great local television station. So I was flattered beyond measure (and ridiculously excited!) when KLRN asked me to serve as one of their “guest Tweeters” during the event!
KLRN staffer Katrina Kehoe set me up with a computer and desk, and off I went. We’ve watched the auction for years, but I’ve never been in-studio. I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly it all runs. There’s plenty of energy in the room, but no panic or any sense of frenetic activity. It runs like a well-oiled machine. You can really tell that the staff and many of the volunteers have done this for a long time.
The redesigned set occupies a much smaller space, but it didn’t appear to be crowded or cramped. The boards still rotate around all evening, and the volunteers worked well in the new space.
The “guest Tweeter” desk sits up on the top platform, just to the left of where announcer Steve Alwais sits. The spot provided me with an excellent view of all the activity below. Occasionally I would wander the studio, take photos, and talk to volunteers. This being a new activity, my desk attracted a good bit of attention from those getting ready to read the boards. Everyone kept looking over my shoulder as I typed.
The most surreal aspect of the evening: while everything looked familiar, I couldn’t hear the announcer or board readers. Monitors were scattered throughout the studio, but all were muted. It was strangely disorienting.
I kept expecting the energy level to drop as the evening progressed, but it never happened. A new shift of phone bank volunteers arrived around 10:00 pm, and they were just as enthusiastic as the first bunch.
I truly enjoyed the experience…so much so that I returned on the final night!
And let me tell you…..that zebra is totally creepy in person.

Laura Bray blogs as Alamo A La Carte ( and tweets as @laurabray