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Wanna get 'picked by the pickers?'

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Courtesy photo
Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe of "American Pickers" on the History Channel may be tooling around the Texas Hill County this month. If you have an interesting collection, contact 'em and you may "git yer pitcher in the paper!"

Attention collectors, hoarders, junkers and inveterate auction-goers, your time to shine may be at hand. According to an email from the Bandera County Chamber of Commerce, self-proclaimed "modern archaeologists," Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz of the History Channel's "American Pickers" may be in this area in January. And, if so, they'll be looking for you - the aforementioned collectors, hoarders, junkers and inveterate auction-goers.
Funny, funky and entertaining, Wolfe and Fritz are the faces of the wildly popular "American Pickers." The series chronicles their coast-to-coast travels as they unearth antique and collectible treasures to "mark up and move along" in Wolfe's Antique Archeology shops, located in Nashville, Tennessee and LeClaire, Iowa.
Since its inaugural episode, January marks the show's sixth season - not a bad run for a reality-documentary series. The show is a great watch - and a gentle mix of entertainment, education and history. And, lest anyone think the boys simply rip off unsuspecting and uneducated locals, their clients must be more well-heeled than those who prowl around the Western Trail Antiques Mall or 11th Street Mercantile. Their ultimate pickin' prices are more than fair for pieces that owners, for the most part, have forgotten they have stored away.
So, anyone in this area with a barn, junkyard, loft or outbuilding filled with rusty, dusty treasures - or knows someone who does - is advised to email or call 1-855-OLD-RUST and leave a message. Information should include name, telephone numbers, city, state and a description of the collection with photos if possible.
Current hot items would include motor scooters, motorcycles and turn-of-the century to 1960s bicycles; vintage signage, especially pre-1970s neon; tin, windup and cast iron toys; pre-1960s vending machines; pinball and slot machines; old movie posters and vintage movie memorabilia; pre-1960s western gear and old rodeo items; military items; folk art; and strange woodcarvings, among other items.
However, items that won't make the pickers' cut are farming and agricultural items, tools, glassware, appliances, tractors, crocks, stoves or country primitives.
Anyone interested is encouraged to call or email. Who knows? You may be on television or at least become a part of the ultimate recycling of history. But remember, an antique - or anything else for that matter - is only worth what someone else will pay for it.
Good luck and keep on pickin' - whether for the History Channel or not.