Martha Thinks

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

American Pickers

I like to think I am on top of all of the new and interesting shows. I watch far too much television, but often just bits and pieces of things which are completely unsatisfying. So when my brother told me about this show he was watching called "American Pickers" on the History Channel...I was hooked. It featured two funny and charming "pickers" Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, friends since childhood, who together drive around the great American South looking for junk. They sometimes just drive on down a long driveway with big rusty things in the yard, approach the homeowner and ask if they can go "picking". They find good old junk, signs, bikes, ephemera, stuff that in many cases has been sitting around for decades, purchase it, clean it up and sell it in the most modern of ways - on ebay.

The cast of characters they meet along the way are great. Most interesting to me is the delicate balance of asking to see barnfuls of stuff, getting permission, then trying to see if the homeowner will sell any of it. They had one old-timer's interest in selling some of his possessions until they left him sitting on his John Deere tractor for an hour while they poured through his barn. By the time they came back out into the sunlight, the man was tired, bored and feeling used. He was no longer interested in doing business. All sales were off.
While I am not an official "picker" I have gained a great appreciation for old stuff, workmanship and patina. I have high ceilings in "this old house" so I enjoy having things over the doorways. Here is pretty piece of victorian design made from brass. I purchased it at Todd Farm in Rowley for $25.00. Now that's a bargain.
These pretty pieces were purchased in Brimfield for $5. and $15.
This was bought at an indoor auction held 2 or 3 times a year at the Sons of Italy in Woburn. The auctioneer has a wonderful eclectic collection of items and the sale usually runs from 6-10 pm. After 9pm - they are practically giving the stuff away, so you can lift your number with glee. This old Irish chest was $200.00.
This pretty leaded glass panel was probably used vertically but I loved it so much for the kitchen, this is where it fit best. It was a gift from my sister-in-law for my new kitchen. There were too many wires in the wall to actually cut into it and fit it in the wall, so I just had it secured above the pretty wooden shelf I also bought at Todd Farm, for about $25.00, I think. The swans were collected at craft shows, most done by the same man.
This is a real close to home "picker" treasure. When we dug a big hole in the ground to expand our foundation, this old charmer was stuck beween the walls. It was so dirty, but I love it rips and all. Now it's over our back door.

Maybe I'll bump into you at
Todd Farm in Rowley,
the week-long sale in Brimfield
or the forever favorite Flukes, Finds and Friends at 70 State Street in Newburyport.
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