Pickers have eyes on Putnam County area for July visit

Sunday, June 22, 2014
"American Pickers" Frank Fritz (left) and Mike Wolfe have their eyes set on Putnam County as they plan a July visit to Indiana.

Sometimes it pays not to be neat.

If your basement is stuffed full of old toys, trains and other treasures or your barn or shed is heaped with granny's goodies or granddad's old car parts, don't call the trash man just yet.

Procrastinate a little longer, it just might be worth it.

Before you unjumble that jungle of boxes in the basement or attack that attic, there's good reason to wait a little longer for that full-scale clean-up you've been promising.

The television show "American Pickers" may be coming to the Putnam County area next month.

Or at least possibly coming here -- if we have the cramped quarters, mounds of miscellany and boxes of rusty gold that picker/hosts Mike and Frank love to dig through.

"We love to find big, cluttered spaces with lots of items that Mike (Wolfe) and Frank (Fritz) can pick from," show producer Thomas Giglio told the Banner Graphic.

"Anything that is neat, clean or looks like a gallery or store doesn't appeal to the spirit of the show," Giglio added. "To that point, we are only interested in private collections -- no stores, yard sales or anything that is open to the public."

"American Pickers" will definitely be coming to Indiana within the next few weeks, "hopefully the middle of July," said Giglo, who works with Danielle Colby-Cushman, one of the stars of the show, to find great collections all over the country.

"We're scouting the whole state," the producer said, adding that what locations are ultimately picked will depend upon "who gives the us the best and most interesting collections and personalities."

So the messier the barns, sheds or basements, the better, he said.

"Mike and Frank really love to get their hands dirty," he said, "that is true to the show. They like to dig for buried treasures or antiques."

The History Channel show is now in its sixth season with 106 episodes in the can and counting.

"It's wildly popular," Giglio said. "Every one who participates has fun when we visit."

That's not to mention the cash paid for what the pickers discover.

Operating their Antique Archaeology business out of a LeClaire, Iowa, home base, they have expanded in recent years with a shop in Nashville, Tenn., following the success of the TV program.

Those who follow the adventures of Wolfe and Fritz know that Mike is into bicycles, motorcycles and "rusty gold," while Frank loves oil cans, toys and other "smalls" and the occasional antique car.

The pickers are also on the hunt for old motor scooters (Cushmans and Vespas), old signage, unusual old radios, vintage advertising, vintage concert posters and T-shirts, pre-1960s TV items, pre-1950s western gear, early military items, folk art, vintage sports collectibles, vintage election memorabilia, Civil War antiques, old gas pumps and pre-1970s neon signs.

To be considered for a visit by the pickers, residents must email americanpickers@cineflix.co. Be sure to include name, contact numbers, description of items (the more the better) and detailed photos of your items. Persons may also call 646-493-2184 and leave a message.

One thing the pickers are not after this season, he said, is agricultural-related items.

"We're less interested in agricultural items," Giglio said. "We've pretty much had our fill of those on the program in seasons past."

The show is also not currently looking for appliances, tools, glassware, crocks, stoves or country primitives.

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