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The Observer is offering a selected few items for online bidding. We will accept bids every day from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Central Time.  Online bidding closes on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 13, at 5 p.m.

E-mail your bids to the business office at [email protected]. You will receive notification if someone places a higher bid than you so you may raise your bid if desired.

At 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 14, when the Silent Auction opens at the fabulous Valentine’s Day Rabble Rouser and Fat Cat Schmoozefest at the Barr Mansion in Austin, Texas, the highest bid received online will be the beginning bid for these items.

In order for you to continue bidding until the auction closes at 7:30 that evening, the Observer will provide a proxy for you who will be in attendance at the event. You and your proxy can work out what maximum amount you are willing to bid and any other strategies (within the bounds of legality and decorum, of course) you may wish to employ. Shipping, if required, is to be paid by the winning bidder.

If you have questions please call the Observer business office at 512-477-0746.

Auction Items:




Monchique, Portugal
(Please redeem within one year)

You may bid for TWO WEEKS
Value $7,000 (2 weeks)
Minimum $4,000 (2 weeks)
You may bid for ONE WEEK
Value $3,500 (1 week)
Minimum $2,000 (1 week)

Highest per-week bid for two weeks wins! If high bid is for one week, other week will be offered at same price to that bidder or next highest bidder.

This fabulous villa, the vacation home of Observer readers Allan and Louise Hirst, is one of the nicest properties available in the area of Monchique, Portugal. Nestled in five acres of beautiful gardens, the villa, which is called Quinta das Nascentes Atlas, has five bedrooms and can accommodate up to 10 people. This southern region of Portugal, called the Algarve, is a popular destination for tourism, primarily because of its beaches, Mediterranean climate, safety, and relatively low cost. Recently remodeled, all bedrooms have double doors opening onto the terrace with spectacular views to the coast. Modern kitchen, swimming pool, telephone and fax, Wi-Fi, satellite, TV, housekeeping services.

Click on this link to see more photos

Click on this link to read a testimonial from last year’s high bidder

BID NOW: [email protected]

Portugese Vill


Washington, D.C.
Minimum bid $400

For the past 18 years Bob Schieffer has interviewed the week’s top newsmakers live from the Washington set of “Face the Nation.” Here’s your chance to meet the legendary anchorman and enjoy a front row seat to the live broadcast of the second oldest show on television. You and 3 guests will be seated in the control room during the show and then treated to a tour of the studio by Bob Schieffer.

“Face the Nation” broadcasts live from the CBS News Washington bureau in downtown Washington, DC Sunday mornings at 10:30 am. Please contact Kaylee Hartung to arrange a mutually acceptable date at (202) 457-4429 or ha[email protected]. (Please redeem within one year of purchase.)

Schieffer is one of the few American journalists to have covered all four of the major Washington national assignments: the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, and Congress. He was born in Austin and grew up in Ft. Worth and is a longtime admirer of the Observer.

BID NOW: [email protected]

Bob Schieffer


Playa del Carmen, Mexico
(Please redeem within one year)

Value $2,500-4,000 (depending on season)
Minimum $1,500

Casa Cho Hom, a resort home in Playa del Carmen owned by Observer friends Russ and Renee Graham, has breathtaking Caribbean views that can be enjoyed from the rooftop terrace. Only one block from the newly restored beach, this three-bedroom, three-bath fully equipped split-level villa accommodates up to six people spaciously and privately. The large living room opens to an inviting swimming pool. Maid service is provided six times a week as well as linens and towels. The house features satellite TV, VCR, wireless internet, air-conditioning, 2 ocean-going kayaks, a laundry room, and a modern kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances. Cancun is 40 miles north, the island of Cozumel can be seen from the rooftop terrace and is 40 minutes by boat across the channel, and several archeological sites are nearby. This villa is a ten-minute walk from town where you can find shopping, restaurants, beach bars, and the ferry to Cozumel.

Click on this link to see more photos

BID NOW: [email protected]

Beach House

Storm from Jewel’s Camp

By James Evans
Value $1300
Minimum $600

James Evans has been photographing the Big Bend region of West Texas for over 20 years, documenting the vast and rugged landscape and the intriguing animals and  individuals who inhabit it. This silver gelatin print captures the drama of a lightning-filled storm coming over the Chisos Mountains into the high desert. It is a one-of-a-kind original vintage print, the same likeness that appears in his highly acclaimed book Big Bend Pictures (UT Press: 2003). The photograph is framed and measures 25” x 25”, including the frame.

BID NOW: [email protected]

Storm Pic

Kingfishers, Divers and Risers

By David Hefner
Value $450
Minimum $225

David Hefner, Ph.D., teaches art education and studio painting at Texas State University, San Marcos. He incorporates form into the abstract design of wood grain in this beautiful woodcut print of brightly colored kingfishers diving and rising with their catch. The framed print measures 33” by 30.”

BID NOW: [email protected]


Peace Sign

By Dick Leverich
Value $400
Minimum bid $200

Dick Leverich, Austin physician and welder, crafts these wonderful peace signs of recycled steel tubing. The sign has a 52-inch diameter, metal stand, and is outlined in bright white outdoor LED lights. The photos show how this sculpture is a beacon in the dark.

Peace SignPeace Sign

BID NOW: [email protected]

Sponsored by:
Rabble Rouser Sponsors: 91.7 KOOP FM, The Austin Chronicle, 93.3 KGSR