BY BOB SWEENEY
There she was, seated at the National Western Stock Show’s Coors media party, wearing her trademark white cowboy hat and dressed to a tee in Western fashion—Cookie Lockhart, auctioneer extraordinaire.
I’ve known Cookie since she was a young starlet in Steamboat Springs working for her dad, Si, at their Main Street furniture and auction business. She worked alongside her brother Darwin, a rodeo contestant, who died at an early age.
Cookie and I greeted with a hug—and fond memories of her family.
Back in those years, home was Craig for me, with a grandfather who had mined gold at Hahn’s Peak in the 1870s. We had strong Yampa Valley connections, including a daily newspaper and a bustling commercial printing operation, where we did “polled Hereford bull catalogues” for famed Hayden lawyer Farrington Carpenter and auction bills for Si Lockhart.
They had a common thread of always being in a hurry, and we were hard workers, good printers, and got the jobs done fast and reasonable. I walked into the Lockhart Auction door in Steamboat many times carrying sale bills announcing auctions a few days away.
It was very difficult to print sale bill signs full of type with multiple items for sale—tractors, livestock, buildings, tools and the kitchen sink. Si was a stickler to detail, and so was Cookie. That’s what made them successful and made her the first woman to reach both the Colorado and National Auctioneers Hall of Fame.
Cookie was in town recently for the National Auctioneer Convention and slipped away from that event to attend the evening media party. It was good to see her and reminisce for a few minutes.
Cookie said she was in the process of selling the family building, which takes up a half block in downtown Steamboat Springs and is booming with the growth of the ski industry. After that sale, she wants to move to Denver, where she has lived off and on for several decades and still maintains an office.
She grew up in Steamboat Springs with famous Olympic skiers Skeeter and Buddy Werner.
Cookie once took two years to liquidate an entire oil company that had encompassed 22 states. It took more than three years to auction the multi-million dollar properties.
She is described as “flamboyant” and “captivating” and is recognized in the auction world as “royalty.”
She has a lengthy resume of certifications, including appraisal, expert witness and Chamber of Commerce honors.
She is an honored Rotarian of 16 years and a recipient of the coveted Paul Harris Award for achievement. She is a past president of Toastmasters International, which speaks to her abilities in vocal skills.
She was the first woman inducted into the Colorado Auctioneers Hall of Fame in 2002 and was the first woman inducted into the National Auctioneers Hall of Fame in 2007. Ten years later, she is still the only woman in the Hall of Fame circle.
Cookie still travels the nation and serves the nation with many licenses and accreditations. She speaks frequently, inspiring auctioneer graduates, leaving them with a lasting impression of the auction profession.
She advises, “You have to look successful to be successful … and you need to dress the part.”
Cookie still looked the part at the media party, with her trademark cowboy hat, sparkly glasses and distinctive voice.
If and when she ends up back in Denver, Rotarians had better grab her before the Lions capture her.
Her father Si taught her well.
For more information, visit CookieLockhartAuctions.com.
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