If it’s Friday night in Seale, Alabama, you can be certain that the Possum Trot is packed. After all, it’s kinda sorta the only place in town that’s even open. Plus, the sign out front says they’ve got “more stuff than Walmart.”
But it’s not really about the stuff.
The Possum Trot is an auction house that operates weekly in a small cinder block building on a rural road in Russell County. It was started by artist Butch Anthony and his father, Bishop, in 1989 and was named for possum races that used to take place on the grounds. In 2008, Jack Burdeshaw took over the auction, and his current business partner, Joe Watson, joined him in the venture in 2012.
Over the years, the Possum Trot has had a number of notable visitors, from famed Auburn football coach Pat Dye to the guys from the TV show American Pickers, but the real stars are the folks who come out every week.
“My favorite thing about the Possum Trot would have to be the people that come and the camaraderie between them,” Burdeshaw said.
Burdeshaw’s wife, Gary Ann, adds, “We’ve got people who we feel like are almost extended family because we see each other every Friday night.”
Two of those people even held their wedding at the Possum Trot in late 2016, with Gary Ann helping to plan the event and Joe Watson officiating.
In addition to the auction side, the building houses Anthony’s shop, full of art and other Butch-y things (bones, fossils, two-headed chickens and whatnot). He and his friends are usually gathered somewhere in the vicinity, trading good-natured barbs and shooting the breeze. There’s a snack shop in a small red building out back, as well as rustic restrooms.
And then, there is the stuff.
“We’ll sell anything that we can legally sell,” Jack Burdeshaw said.
Lots vary every week, but you will generally find all types of collectibles, glass, furniture, toys, vinyl albums, screen doors, art, guns, jewelry, Troll dolls, a banana seat chopper bicycle, stacks of mini license plates, china and more.
Anthony posts a curio photo every Friday on a Facebook page reminding people that the Possum Trot’s tonight and there’s “No telling what you might find.”
I once left with two brass unicorns, a white cement chicken and a clown statue. Other times, I left empty-handed. Either way, I’ve always left with a good story and the memory of having had a unique experience.
What: The Possum Trot Auction
Where: 4776 Old Seale Highway, Seale, Alabama
When: 7 p.m. every Friday night, rain or shine