Sunday, December 4, 2016

Loving Hard & Working Hard

I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Mrs. Ona Van Dorn. She is the client associated with the Estate Liquidation we are holding in George West, TX. When given the opportunity, I LOVE to tell the stories of the people associated with our estates.

Liquidating estates is like sharing someone's personal collection of LOVED things with anyone who can & WILL appreciate them.

I have to say that it is MY HONOR to share in the story of Mrs. Ona Van Dorn! This 96 year-old cowgirl & entrepreneur has a TREMENDOUS life. It's hard to not get emotional remembering the interview & just learning HOW MANY people that have been blessed by her life & are still being BLESSED by it!

It's one of those blogs where I will do my best to share ALL of my thoughts & feelings, but her life is JUST SO BIG....I don't think it can be captured in these words....but I'll give it my best shot.

The interview started out going back to about 1960, starting with the story of how & why they started the South Texas Trail Ride, which starts in the Corpus Christi area & ends at the AT&T Center in San Antonio coinciding with the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. At the time, her & her then-husband Big Jim Wright owned the Motts Steakhouse in Corpus Christi - which garnered diners of the likes of Roy Rodgers & Johnny Cash.

Pictured with Johnny Cash.

Sitting there at The Motts, with their friends Fay & Pete Sample they came up with the idea to have a trail ride start in Corpus & end at the San Antonio Livestock Show & Rodeo. I knew this story was going to get good when she said: "Everyone told us it was impossible." Mrs. Ona goes on to say that the Stock Show was approaching & they needed to get approval, BUT before that - had to make sure that they would have people in support of this ride & willing to work with them.  They set out and made a trip on the route they had planned to take & made stops talking to certain individuals that would serve as key players to help push this vision along. First of all, it AMAZED me that she remembered SO MANY details of, not just this part of the planning, but EVERYTHING!! What seemed to be the key shot of encouragement to keep moving forward with the trail ride is when Mr. Perry Callison said to her: "All of South Texas is my business & I think it is a good thing!" Hearing her say it, it seemed like it was just the right dose of encouragement that was needed to carry on towards the goal. Needless to say, A ride that started with a small group of around 30 or so riders grEW to where, at its peak, had 1500+ riders! She remembered all kinds of details like...recalling a goal to have 50 horse-drawn buggies on the ride for their 50th Anniversary Year & only getting 49. She chuckled about it :). I just love the tenacity...of being told it's impossible & going after it anyway...of talking to the RIGHT people to encourage & push it along...of witnessing the passion & hearing about the work put in to do it....& of the absolutely incredible life journey this ride took her & many others on. She recalled one year cooking for all the riders with water up to her knees! Back then, we aren't talking about a trail-ride with heated trailers & living compartments. We are talking...sleeping in tents, beds of pick-up trucks & on the ground, riding in whatever weather was on the trail... We have the first horse trailer camper that ever went on the ride in the auction on December 10th! Just to give you an idea of how much Mrs. Ona LOVES this ride....she has gone on the ride EVERY YEAR! The last time she rode was 8 years ago! Since then, she's ridden on the wagon :). If anyone gets the chance to visit with her about it...ask her about the year she rode sidesaddle the WHOLE way & the clothes she made for that ride! On average riders ride 35 miles a day.

Mrs. Ona in her hand-made duds - ridin' side saddle. 

Mrs. Ona in the hat!

Check out the growth of that vision!

If you think that was an awesome story...just wait!

I had also heard about her entreprenuel spirit. There is really no tellin' how many businesses Mrs. Ona has owned or have been a part of. She couldn't recall all of them & after meeting with her we've learned about more :). One theme that seemed to be pretty consistent (with a few exceptions) was restuarants & feeding people. I asked her why restaurants? Mrs. Ona looked square at me & said: "Everything I've done was done for a reason...for a purpose." Visiting with her, it became pretty clear that opportunities presented themselves to her & if there was a reason or a purpose for it...she would do it...even if the road ahead would not be easy.

Her & her second husband, Doug opened up Vans BBQ in Oakville. At the time, she was selling real estate and good at it! They had other restuarants also. Like I mentioned before, an opportunity presented itself to Mrs. Ona. Once again the odds against her were difficult. It all came down to a desperate seller needing to sell a piece of real estate, that later would turn into Vans BBQ. She shared that she was apprehensive. The local paper had just come out highlighting the hard times Oakville was headed towards & here she was...thinking about opening up a restuarant right in the middle of it. One day she had the idea to make some BBQ, take it up to the Oakville location, &....ultimately...see what happens. It was a rough start, but the people that stopped by begged them to stay open....& it has been in business ever since. That was around 1982. She didn't say this verbatim, but the way I understand it - the REASON Van's in Oakville happened was because she had a client with a need, that she could fulfill & the purpose for staying open, is because people wanted her to.

She shared a story that is just too good to not share. She told me that when she was first getting going with Vans, the people of Oakville were givin' her a hard time. It was a dry precinct & she went through all the required notices & paperwork to get the beer license for the restaurant. A member of the local church stopped by & said: "Mrs. Ona, are you sure you want to go down to the courthouse? There are two bus loads from the church headed over there to protest against you getting the beer license." Mrs. Ona said: "Yeah? I'll ride with ya!"  Needless to say, she drove separate, had to be escorted in the back door for her safety, & the judge granted the beer license to Vans because all the necessary paperwork had been filed & there was nothing against their name. Vans in Oakville was sold this year, but you can still eat at their Three Rivers location!

After this story...I asked Mrs. Ona what her "WHY" was. Why did she do all this, and go through all this? What was her drive behind the decisions she made in her lifetime? She sat up, looked at me kind of speechless & thoughtful for a moment, and said: "I guess I just love people so much I just want to do these things." Probably the best "WHY" anyone can have.

We moved into her love for horse-drawn buggies & wagons. Mrs. Ona has a collection of horse-drawn buggies, carriages, & wagons that will be up for auction on Saturday in George West, starting at 10AM. There is a gig & Mexican cart that came off the Kennedy Ranch, which will be in the auction on Saturday, along with several other items from Kennedy Ranch & Chapman Ranch. She also had the stage coach & Mrs. Kennedy's Buggy, which they gave to The Corpus Christi Museum. They were in her care from 1965-1975.

Will be in the Auction in George West on Saturday.
Mexican Buggy off of Kennedy Ranch. Will be in Auction in George West 

Will be in Auction in George West on Saturday. 
Will in in Auction in George West on Saturday.

Front buggy off of Kennedy Ranch. Authentic to period. Maintained.
Will be in Auction in George West on Sunday.

She said she started collecting these, because she had a vision for a family dude ranch & a place similar to Motts in Corpus Christi, but she can't get around like she used to & it never came to fruition.

Her horses & the Chuck Wagon & Parade Harness were filmed in the Movie: Red & Yella, Kill a Fella, just last year. She also had the opportunity to be filmed as an extra in The Alamo with John Wayne & appear at Happy Shahan's Alamo Village in Bracketville.

This story is what took me over the edge. I COULD NOT HOLD MY EMOTIONS IN. We had somehow started talking about another one of her past businesses, Chuck Wagon Caters & someone mentioned "orphans." It struck me & I asked Mrs. Ona if she could elaborate. She told me: "There were LOADS of'm!" She said that they weren't all orphans. Some of the kiddos came from very wealthy families, but were lost in a sense. Her & her husband would take them in. They moved three buildings in from North Beach to house them. She said there would be 10, 15, 20 at a time. Some would stay only on weekends. Some never left. They would help with their businesses & with the horses. She said that the MAIN rule, was they HAD to go to school. There was one boy in particular that really had a hard time. She said they worked to get him on track & he was making great progress. Then one day his daddy showed up fussing & mad at the boy & tried to drag him off the place & she ran him off. After that story, she couldn't hold back her tears either.

She joked about her brother always saying that she could turn a piece of string into gold, but as we were sitting there visiting - we both agreed that big things don't just happen. You have to WORK to make them happen. Mrs. Ona's life is a legacy of LOVING HARD & WORKING HARD. She has selflessly worked & served & given & created & lived for others & has a heck of a time doin' it!

Ona & I after the interview!

Just goes to show how we all have it in us. Buck Up Auctions & myself have teamed up with Danny Jennings with ELCO Auctions out of Odem, TX to carry out this auction for Mrs. Ona. Danny was the VERY FIRST Auctioneer that gave ME a shot, when I first got my license. He's been in my corner ever since I started this auction journey, back in 2011.

We would like to invite EVERYONE out for this 2-Day Auction Event! We will be in George West on Saturday - Auction Starts a 10AM & Oakville on Sunday Starting at 1PM. Items will be available for Preview from 3PM until dark at both locations on FRIDAY.  Go to for all the info. We are updating the website daily.

You can also like our Facebook Pages Here: Buck Up Auctions & ELCO Auctions

God Bless!
Heather Kaspar
Buck Up Auctions
TXL 17037

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Exciting Announcement!

Hey Friends & Followers! I have a pretty cool announcement to share with everyone!

I will be an Auctioneer in Season 5 of the hit DIY Network show - Texas Flip N Move!! New season will start November 25th (the Friday after Thanksgiving). The first episode you will see me on is on December 2nd!! Set your DVRs & Tune in EVERY Friday 8PM Central Time!

DIRECTV - Channel 230
Dish Network - Channel 111

I want to shoot a quick message out to ENCOURAGE all of you who do not regularly watch the show - to START! It's been my privilege to get to know the cast & crew that is a part of this show & to be a part of the action! 

It is a FAMILY show. My 4 & 7 year old LOVE to watch it with us. It has FRESH & CreAtiVe design ideas! My FAVORITE thing about this show & all it stands for is highlighting REAL, true blue, working men & WOMEN ;). You get to see a snapshot of the lives of HOUSEMOVERS, CONTRACTORS, BUILDING PROFESSIONALS, DESIGNERS, & AUCTIONEERS & learn a little bit about our industries!

Buck Up Baby & TUNE IN - Friday NIGHTS - 8PM Central Time!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What Can You Do With a 101 Year Old House?

Hey Readers!! To get all my followers up to date, as well as my NEW readers - I will be offering the REAL property at 717 E. Washington Street in Giddings, Texas for sale via LIVE & online SIMULCAST Bidding. I am a licensed Auctioneer with the state of Texas, which is regulated by the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation. I am also a licensed REALTOR with the Texas Real Estate Commission & I hold my license with My Real Estate Expert, LLC./Buck Up Realty out of Tomball, Texas. This firm holds a wealth of experience in regards to commercial, residential & foreclosed properties in urban & rural markets, as well as educated Buyer Representation Agents. They are also experienced using the auction method of marketing to sell real estate property (LIVE & ONLINE), as well as traditional methods.

I am excited to be able to offer THIS property to all of you, USING THE AUCTION METHOD OF MARKETING! Our auction company, Buck Up Auctions, had the honor of conducting the personal property auction for the sellers a little over a year ago. Inside was a wealth of interesting and exciting antique pieces including, but not limited to: furniture, advertising pieces, linens, glassware, collectibles, toys, lighting fixtures, comic books & SO much more! Check out THIS blog written in preparation for the personal property auction.

This property has ALWAYS been in the Schneider/Schultz Family. That's right...101 years in the same family line! For a number of years the family ran a local mercantile & in the early days, all of their merchandise was delivered by train. If you read the link to our previous blog post, you can get some additional history on the property & the people that occupied it. My purpose of writing today is to give you all the opportunity to savor in the history & take a moment to look at this home as your own blank canvas. How can you write your own story with it? I know there are those out there that love to restore old homes....that DREAM of owning a bed & breakfast....that fancy the idea of truly restoring a home to make it a piece of their family for years to come....that prefer to invest their money into real estate. This property, being zoned residential & commercial, can give all of you that opportunity.

The seller has provided several documents about the property that are available for you to view on our website at: The terms & conditions of the auction sale are also on our website. PLEASE CALL/TEXT/ OR EMAIL...any questions you may have about the property, the terms of the sale, online bidding or the documents you see online. I can also email the documents to you directly.

My contact info: Heather Schoenst Kaspar - - 979.421.0325

Located in Giddings, Texas - This property is not very far from Austin, College Station, or Houston! The community is full of lots of German Heritage, numerous civic groups for one to become active in, has an Economic Development Board & is a venue for professional rodeos & bull ridings,... The town has a strong base in agriculture & industrial-type jobs. It is 30 minutes or less from the Round Top & Warrenton, TX - which many know for the bi-annual+ antique show & pleasantly located just outside the hub of activity - during those times of the year. It's a quaint piece of the world, where there's still plenty to do....just not quite as fast-paced, as what you find in the city.

There will be LIVE & SIMULCAST ONLINE BIDDING available for this property. PLEASE call me with any questions you may have! We will hold a preview/inspection day on June 1st from 3PM-7PM & the auction will be held June 15th @ 6:30PM. Please be sure to LIKE our FACEBOOK PAGE for all the latest updates. You can also subscribe to our Constant Contact email newsletter HERE.


App Store URLs

More information will be posted at Be sure to go there for the full terms & conditions of the sale. There is a 10% buyers premium. The seller has the right to accept or reject the final bid price. Agent is a licensed REALTOR and Auctioneer - TXL 17037, regulated by the TDLR.

In addition please click here to view the Information about Brokerage Services Form, which explains agency relationships with sellers, buyers, & brokerage firm. In this transaction Heather Kaspar, My Real Estate Expert, LLC./Buck Up Realty is an agent of the seller.  Broker/Buyer Representation is encouraged & compensated. Buyer Representation Agreements must be presented to auctioneer 24 hours before the sale starts.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Buck Up Scholarship: The Story of Why Not?

A little over a year of my friends reminded me about an IDEA that I had earlier that year. The original idea was to create a way to supply business grants to small businesses and entrepreneurs that were able to Buck Up and take those first steps in starting their business.....BECAUSE THOSE ARE SCARY STEPS. 

After doing a little research, we found out quick that there is quite a bit involved in a cause like that & we didn't have the experience working it, to pull that off in the timeline we had.

So....we put our heads together and thought of a way that we could achieve the same sort of mission, but on a more do-able level.......THUS the Buck Up Scholarship Fund was created. 

The mission is to have others SHARE their stories of what it took for them to BUCK UP & DO whatever it was that they felt led to do. I can speak from experience and tell you that I WOULD NOT BE DOING WHAT I'M DOING RIGHT NOW IF A STRING OF PEOPLE WOULD NOT HAVE ENCOURAGED ME ALONG THE WAY. 

ENCOURAGEMENT is SO important, because....... When a person does something diFfeRent there are A LOT more nay-sayers out there than encouragers. And if you disagree with may be able to agree that the nay-sayers are who we hear. 

Last year was the first year for The Buck Up Scholarship Fund & I can't tell you how many people asked me WHY we were doing it! It was SO frustrating to me, because all I could think of is: WHY NOT?!

When I first started working my auction business FULL-TIME the two needs that were the MOST apparent to me getting started was ENCOURAGEMENT & FUNDS. just so happens that Buck Up Auctions knows how to ENCOURAGE PEOPLE to raISE funds. Taking all that into consideration: WHY NOT invite people to share their stories of how they overcame fear, rejection, confusion, a difficult situation? WHY NOT bring our friends, family, & supporters together to support others? WHY NOT?! How can we expect people to ENCOURAGE & SUPPORT us, if we can't do that for others. 

I sat here earlier this week a little upset with myself that I didn't focus MORE time on this event, but not exactly knowing how I would've. Our business is growing. Our team is growing & we've been able to help more causes and individuals this year than any other. That's what we want. Just as our business is growing....this cause will grOW....just like the Good Lord needs it. More people will SUPPORT it, more people will know about it, more students will benefit from it, and more people will be encouraged by it. 

We literally got the event last year together in a matter of weeks & the fund was able to supply 3 scholarships to 3 of the 93 APPLICANTS! CLICK HERE to read more about this year's recipients & HERE to read their BUCK UP ESSAYS, and HERE for general information about the scholarship.

Catherine Winkles $1000 & Phillip Ho $500
Brenham ISD
Tyler Copeland $500
Round Top - Carmine ISD

The scholarship committee comprised of 4 individuals chose the winning essays. The Buck Up Auction Crew went through and numbered and blacked out any information that would give away who the applicant was and where they were from. After the recipients were selected The Buck Up Auction Crew read EVERY ESSAY & responded back to the applicant with words of encouragement. 

In that....we realized that some of these individuals were probably never asked to share a story of a time when they had to BUCK UP, step outside their comfort zone, and think about how that changed themselves and people around them. It was GOOSE BUMP CITY! There were some POWERFUL essays. One of the members of the scholarship committee told me they would have liked to award more! With time....with time!

This became much BIGGER than the idea! We are accepting auction items to auction off on Saturday to raise money for the 2016 Scholarship Fund. I'm aware that there is A LOT going on on Saturday. If you'd like to support the fund & can't make it give us a call at 979.421.0325 or shoot us an email at to make bidding/donation arrangements. We plan to have a LIVE & silent auction & if attendance & donations allow, we will also have a heads or tails raffle. The Tip Jar Gypsies will be playing right after the fundRAISING stops. You'll get a chance to hear from this year's applicants as well!! Instead of a bounce house The Buck Up Kids will be holding a school supply drive that we will donate the items to area schools. We are also working to make this organization a 501(c)3. We are interviewing individuals that have an interest in this cause for the board & also have one more spot open in the Scholarship Committee for 2016. We will have a ballot box at the event where you can drop off nominations. Please leave contact information. 

This scholarship is open to anyone living in LaGrange, Brenham, Giddings and anywhere in between there and Carmine. If you are a high school student & are in one of the following school districts: Brenham, LaGrange, Giddings, RTC, Fayetteville, Burton, it is also open to you. There is no age limit. As long as you are pursuing higher education you can apply. Higher Education is: Jr. College, College, University, Licensing school (welding, real estate, auctioneer, etc.), Clergy etc. 

Please go to the website & read the essays of this year's recipients & if you applied and were not awarded a scholarship this year...APPLY AGAIN!!

ALL funds from this FUNDRAISER goes straight into the scholarship fund!

H.Kaspar TXL 17037

Friday, June 5, 2015

Just live.

We are edging closer to our upcoming fundRAISING auction that will benefit Mrs. Judy Mikeska & help her pay for her ever-mounting medical expenses. I had the opportunity to sit down and visit with Judy's supervisor & FRIEND that is organizing the fundraiser & simply asked for an update. 

Judy (currently) is cancer-free from the head down EXCEPT her lung, which will cause her to move to Temple for 6 weeks, where she will undergo an intense round of chemo treatments. 

Her supervisor shared a story about how they are supposed to fill out an end of year plan & how Judy's was filled with plans & goals & she said the last time they talked Judy made the comment..."Maybe I should wipe all that off that paper and write...'Just live.'"

It struck me somewhere when she said that. JUST live... 

This blog has challenged me a little more than most. I'm thankful that I haven't had to endure the cancer journey like so many of us have. My Daddy did have cirrhosis in his liver & they did find a tumor, but with his transplant was BLESSED to not have to endure the walk that so many others do. I don't want to sit here and type like I KNOW what she's going through. I have personally wrestled with WHY God allows things like cancer to happen...even exist...along with tragedies, hardships, abuse....

When Erin said... Just took me back to a place when we found out that my Daddy would need a liver transplant to LIVE. I remember not really thinking about much else, except HOW can we make that happen. 

As I've grown older & am sloooowly coming to the realization that we CAN achieve things, but what God wills to happen WILL happen....I reflect back on that place that Judy & I both apparently came to & that is to JUST do the next best thing we can, where we stand. 

I've recently read & am currently reading 2 books (The Shack by Wm. Paul Young & Wrestling with Wonder by Marlo Schalesky). It took both of them to get me here... I've learned that doing the next best thing is all God really CALLS us to do. He doesn't call us to fix all the problems, accomplish the unachievable, or move any kind of mountain. He doesn't ask us to NOT feel the hurt, NOT show our emotions, NOT dream & will & hope. He just asks us to move forward WITH HIM, one foot in front of the other...holding His hand. 

I've also learned that to JUST LIVE can be a lot harder than all the other things we try and pile on top of us. We KNOW how to move to a goal we KNOW we can achieve. We KNOW that we can attend those meetings. We KNOW we can give a certain amount of us to any job, project, function. BUT...sometimes we don't know how to JUST LIVE. I guess there is the blessing in all of this. Why do we try to do anymore than what God calls us to? I believe the answer is because the world has conditioned us that way. Remember what Jesus said to His Father: "They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world." John 17:16 (I ENCOURAGE whoever is reading this to read all of John 17.)

So....ALL THAT BEING SAID....all any of us can do is walk one foot in front of the other...clinging to God's hand and those around us that are willing to SUPPORT us. I'm not going to ask you to do anything you don't want to do, but if you WANT to come out and support Judy & her family....while they walk one foot in front of the other...there are ALL KINDS of ways you can do that. 

You can donate an auction item. A group of you can donate an auction item. You can buy an auction item in the LIVE or silent auction. You can join together and buy an item in the LIVE or silent auction. You can buy BBQ chicken dinner plates. You can make a donation to the GoFundMe account. You can buy raffle tickets. You can buy a card for the gun raffles at the event. You can come out and volunteer. You can be present. Erin is your main contact and her information is on the flyer below (Email Link: If you want have options. 

It just amazes me how The Holy Spirit moves among us. I pray I can be a blessing for this family how so many were a blessing to mine. The power of community and relationships is not of this world either. It goes beyond the rules and our ability to understand.....and it definitely trumps any kind of bad in any kind of form. 

Buck Up Baby! Come out & show your support. I CAN speak with experience in that....this family will NEVER be able to form the words to REALLY express their appreciation for ANY act of kindness & support you can provide. Just KNOW that your support and matter how small you think it is... is POWERFUL.

God Bless. 
Heather Schoenst Kaspar
TXL 17037
More Info at: