By David Fleet
Brandon Twp. —For former Brandon Township resident Ken Dockery the “call” to fast talking quips at livestock, estate and automobile sales is the culmination of a childhood experience manifested by his father.
Dockery, 55, recently completed the bucket list item when he graduated from the Des Moines-based-World Wide College of Auctioneering during 80 hours of training which includes learning phrases, chants and the art of creating competition among buyers. The school which has produced auctioneers since 1933 works with students on voice control, appearing at ease before large audiences and overcoming stage fright.
“It’s a form of entertainment,” said Dockery, a 1986 Springfield Christian High School graduate, who served as pastor from 1993-94 at Oakwood Community. “It’s creating a much better value for an item and buyers have fun at it.”
Dockery’s interest stems from his father Brandon Township resident Coy Dockery, 79, who would take his son to area auctions around the state.
“Dad just seemed to know how to be an auctioneer from the start,” he said. “We’d go to auctions when I was a kid and just listen, at the same time get to know those in the trade.” Coy also took classes at Worldwide College Auctioneering, then located in Mason City, Iowa. “Back in the 70s the school provided 78 rpm vinyl record of the tongue-twisters among other phrases to practice for auctioneering,” added Dockery. “So as a little kid I learned what to say by listening to that record over and over again.”
Ken would tag along with his father to a variety of area auctions in Ortonville, the Howell Live Stock Sale and the Walled Lake Auction House.
“Some of those venues were pretty rough,” said Dockery, who recalls his father’s steadfast desire to learn auctioning. “The idea was to be seen by the local auctioneers and learn the trade.”
His father worked in the automobile industry for many years eventually learned the trade and served as a long time auctioneer for the Oakland County Fair Small animal livestock sale.
Ken, who’s currently pastor of the City View Church, Cleveland says he’s not planning to change jobs full time anytime soon, is no stranger to any challenge.
On the afternoon of July 28, 2007, after having biked more than 2,600 miles from his starting point Astoria, Ore., Dockery rolled into Ortonville. It was just one more stop on a coast-to-coast month and a half journey to Portsmouth. N.H.
Dockery’s trek was part of the Inspire Hope Tour, an effort he began to raise money for the Cleveland Clinic, where he was treated in 2002 after being diagnosed with bicuspid aortic valve and stenosis, a birth defect. His valves were too small and he was missing a third flap. Without surgery, he would have died within a matter of weeks. Dockery underwent the rare Ross procedure, during which doctors replaced one aortic valve with his own pulmonary valve and replaced another with a human donor valve.
Dockery’s biking which also included a 500 mile ride from Pennsylvania to Ortonville, the Cleveland Marathon in 2009, the Stockholm Marathon and competed in the Copper Man Triathlon in Copper Harbor in the Upper Peninsula.
“So after some health issues, which included a bad bout of Covid in 2020, I decided to just go for it,” he said. “I just have a desire to go forward and never give up on my dreams. “We’re here only for a short time, it’s time to start living.”
By David Fleet