• Last modified 564 days ago (Oct. 6, 2022)


'Just one money': Bidders reel in the end of iconic discount store

Staff writer

Albert Steele had one thing on his mind at HRK’s auction Saturday — fishing equipment.

“I’ll probably be here all day,” he said, smiling.

Not too long after that, though, Joe Vinduska of Pilsen Packrats held up a box of reels. Steele scored the lot for “just one money,” a phrase Vinduska repeated throughout the day.

Steele was on the hunt for rods, hooks and fishing line as well

HRK’s days have come to a close in Marion. The store’s parking lot and all side streets near it were packed bumper-to-bumper as people piled inside to see what treasures they could find.

Toys, keychains, screws, nails, blood pressure gauges — all were popular items.

“I’m just looking,” Gerald Wiens said as he scouted rows of shelving. “I haven’t found anything that’s caught my eye yet.”

But the auction would last several more hours.

About 75 people picked up bidding numbers. That likely translated to 150 people because wives and husbands usually share a number, Vinduska said. The sale, which started at 9 a.m., wrapped up about 2 p.m.

Michelle Gooding stood in front of a table where the Vinduskas were situated for the song-and-dance that’s an auction. Gooding brought her comfort support dog, Fritzel, with her.

She was looking for “just anything cheap that I can use because I’m disabled.”

Nathan Brunner and his wife and two children came to the sale because “we had the weekend off, and it was something to do.”

Brunner, who is Ramona’s fire chief and works full-time for Marion County Emergency Management Services. He also runs a prescribed burn company, Fire for Hire LLC.

He was on the hunt for tools that he might be able to use for his business. His 14-month-old son bouncing in his lap, Brunner watched the sale from a cushy sofa.

Vinduska sold small items for as little as $1. He thought the highest-priced items went for $400 to $450.

Vinduska said everything sold in this first sale. A second sale will start at 9 a.m. on Oct. 22. That’s when full cases of goods will be up for grabs, including toys, shoes, and boxed furniture.

“It’ll be interesting because we don’t know what all is in there,” he said.

Cases, he said, are “stacked 12 feet tall.”

Last modified Oct. 6, 2022