|Mike Michael inducted into CAA Hall of Fame|
|Written by Vickie Sandlin, Julesburg Advocate|
Attending the 53rd annual Colorado Auctioneers Association (CAA) convention Lloyd “Mike” Michael, Jr. was busy attending workshops and lectures dealing with the auction industry this last weekend. It was like the many such conventions he had attended before.
He’d left Mary, his wife of nearly 24 years, at home in Julesburg. She had planned to drive their son Chris back to Boulder for his college spring semester on Sunday. Or, so Mike thought.
By Sunday, the convention was drawing to a close, with only a business meeting that included the election of officers and the annual Hall of Fame luncheon left to attend.
As Michael entered the banquet hall, he was surprised to see his wife was there. With her were his son Chris and daughter MaKayla, his mother Mary L. Michael and employees Harold Unrein and James McAdams to greet him. At first he thought McAdams was along to help his wife drive to Boulder, and he was grateful...but he was confused.
It was then he realized what was really taking place. At that moment he realized that he would be the next inductee into the association’s Hall of Fame. It may have been one of the few times Michael felt a loss for words. It was a secret that his family had kept from him for more than three months. “It was beyond secretive,” said Michael Monday, Jan. 10. He’d even missed the gentle hints that had been dropped by fellow auctioneers over the weekend.
Michael had been nominated by Harold Unrein, a fellow auctioneer who has worked with Mike and Michael Auction for 17 years.
Mike Michael (left) was inducted into the Colorado Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame. He accepted
Michael was born to be an auctioneer. His father began calling auctions in 1943 at the county fair when he sold chickens and eggs outside the sale barn. So when Michael came along, he was a natural. “It’s totally a gift from God,” said Michael.
Neither his father nor Mike ever had formal training. At the tender age of 5, Michael would dress in his cowboy gear and follow his dad ringside and “chant” along with the auctioneer who was selling cattle.
He was 12 years old when he called his first auction. It was the Charlotte Peterson estate sale held at the “Hobby Shop” in Julesburg.
Michael has been calling auctions for 37 years now. He has 45-50 auctions a year. Early on, he studied books to learn all he could about antiques, collectibles, farm equipment and such. With his vast knowledge, he is hard to stump. On the side he has done a number of “Antique Road Shows,” appraising family treasures.
Michael has built Michael Auction on his reputation. Requests for his services come from all over, near and far. Because of Michael Auction, Julesburg has gained a reputation for antiques. The service employs 12 people and he credits them for his many successes. “I’m real proud of the people I work with,” he said.
Prior to an auction held last year in Burlington, Michael received a surprise phone call. The upcoming auction featured a 1907 White steam car. The caller ID read “Hollywood Studios, California.” His first thought was it was a joke, after all, it was April 1—April Fools Day.
Answering the phone, he soon realized the late night talk show host Jay Leno was on the other end. Leno was inquiring about the steam car. The car sold for $181,000, and no, Leno was not the buyer.
In 2000, Michael served as president for CAA and was also named Colorado’s Champion Auctioneer.
To be inducted into Hall of Fame is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an auctioneer, and as an inductee, Michael is truly humbled. Criteria for nominees is stringent. They look at the auctioneer’s community and association contributions, leadership, professionalism and success.
In his presentation speech, Unrein not only recognized Michael but his wife Mary, saying, “She’s his right hand and left hand.”
On Monday, Jan. 10 Michael praised his wife, “I am so grateful to Mary. She is such an important part of the business. I’m just humbled by this award and couldn’t be happier,” Then he added, “Behind every good man, there’s a better woman.”