Article in American Airlines Celebrated Living Magazine Fall 2015

Picking on Nashville

History channel star Mike Wolfe has set up shop in Music City and has become one of its main attractions

BY: ADAM PITLUK

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Mike Wolfe in his shop, Antique Archaeology, in Nashville.  Photo by Kristin Barlowe.

The approach shot from Nashville’s trendy West End to Marathon Village is altogether peculiar. The city’s skyline ebbs into and out of view as you pass cranes and buildings and trees. The closer you get, the more your view is obscured by rows of warehouses.

That’s when you start to get a sense of the zoning juggernaut that became the banjo-plucking subtext of Music City’s notoriety. Tree-lined schoolyards butt up to industry; a hospice is across 18th Avenue from a motorcycle shop.

But then you turn onto Clinton Street, and it all makes sense.

The aging, rust-colored brick exterior and the filmy panel windows of the turn-of-the-century building — once a Marathon automobile manufacturing plant — look old, yes, but not in imminent decay. Quite the contrary, actually. The aging hulk is the perfect anchor — with just the right amount of patina — for a section of town teeming with energy and in the midst of a renaissance; with folks young and old converging on a shop made famous on the History channel by a country boy from Iowa.

Mike Wolfe makes an approach shot of his own, from the interior of his shop, Antique Archaeology, to the 18-foot moving truck on Clinton Street that bears the shop’s brand. His clothes resemble his picker’s uniform, which doubles as his business attire. The khaki-colored denim pants and blue denim shirt are common sights on his show, American Pickers. He’s wearing a trucker’s hat pulled low over his eyes, thereby making him somewhat indistinguishable from the throng of workers and shoppers milling about. Then a woman spots him and announces to the horde of tourists who came to Nashville from all over the country, “There he is!”

She and the other 20 people waiting on the sidewalk just happened to get lucky. Wolfe is on the road seven months out of the year, crisscrossing the country looking for vintage goods for American Pickers. This is a rare 9 a.m. appearance on Clinton Street for him. The shop doesn’t even open for another hour.

“Can we take your picture?” one woman asks. “We came all the way from Illinois just to meet you!”

“Oh, yeah?” Wolfe replies, now holding court for the early-morning shoppers. “Well then here, let me get in the picture with you.”

More people arrive and more tourists clamor for a shot with the reality star. He entertains them all. Perhaps he’s the living embodiment of a your-mamma-raised-you-right childhood, or maybe his humility is the byproduct of a memory that still reverts back to when he was sleeping in his van a decade ago while searching for salvaged gold in the barns of America’s back roads. The tourists couldn’t care less. They came to see Mike Wolfe, and here he is.

It is only a five-minute drive through the Gulch neighborhood to 12th Street. Wolfe maneuvers his 1951 candy-apple-red Ford F100 pickup truck through construction convoys and sky-high cranes and speaks as enthusiastically about his new hometown as he does when coming across a vintage Indian motorcycle on American Pickers. “I’ve been all over the country, and I haven’t seen this much growth anywhere,” he says. “The eyes of the world are on Nashville.”

He’s absolutely right. But the humble 50-year-old fails to note that he’s a major reason why Nashville has taken center stage on cable television, and why tour buses make the out-of-the-way Marathon Village neighborhood an attraction for excursions that used to cap the expedition at the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry.

“Most people come to Antique Archaeology and they’re not collectors,” he quips as he parks his truck on 12th Street in a spot he just created. His truck is, after all, cool, and it adds to the hip aesthetic around shops like Imogene + Willie custom jeans. (That’s his 1914 Harley-Davidson in the window.) “They come here and they want a piece of the store and the show.”

His show encompasses the dichotomous themes of America: smart growth while preserving our history. That’s why he and his wife, Jodi, moved to Nashville in 2011, just 10 days after the birth of their daughter. Nashville strikes the perfect balance of old meets new. What’s more, there’s a premium on architectural revival, unlike some cities in America that would just as soon knock down an aging eyesore as to save it.

Four years after touching down, he’s as dug in to the city as the planning and zoning commission. In addition to running his shops (the other Antique Archaeology is in Le Claire, Iowa), he also runs a clothing business, does his reality-show filming, has one show that has gone to series at HGTV plus two more pilots, another four in the works and he’s about to be a landlord (again).

Wolfe recently bought the 1882 building on the corner of 14th and Jo Johnson Avenue that was once a neighborhood grocer. The renovation is enormous and tedious, as Wolfe is trying to salvage every vestige of its past before he rents it out as a mixed-use facility. “I’ve always had an interest in old buildings,” he says. “This one tells a great story of the city. It’s also been a dentist office, and an old timer walked by and told me about when there used to be wash basins attached to it that people would use to do their laundry.”

“Hey, mamma, how’s it going?” Wolfe asks of the lady selling bracelets on Broadway in downtown Nashville. “Hey, baby!” she replies. “Good to see you!”

Wolfe is walking to Robert’s Western World for a burger and a beer, having just valeted his truck. Sort of. He pulls up to the gaggle of valets standing around, asks if anyone knows how to drive the thing, and when they all say no, he asks if anyone wants to try. One valet volunteers and instantly floods the engine. Wolfe helps him push it to the side of the street, where it sits and attracts as much attention from tourists as the famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge on the corner.

The barroom is barren at noon on Thursday. All the action is next door at Tootsie’s. A couple of locals nurse their Busch Light cans while a lone musician croons from a stage at the entrance. No one acknowledges him when a song begins — or when one ends.

Then Wolfe does. He lets out thunderous applause and shouts — loudly — in between songs. The other patrons follow suit. Instantly, the dynamic changes and people on the street pop in to hear what the commotion is about.

That’s what Mike Wolfe does for a community. For humanity, even. He’s out there picking through long-ago-faded memories with hopes of unearthing the stories they tell.

“I think everyone needs to see small-town America before it disappears,” he says, putting down his burger to weigh his words. “For the show, we go into these towns that are two lanes, and the buildings are falling down because the city can’t afford to keep them up, and the shopkeeps have long since left. I’m trying to figure out a way to help. It breaks my heart.”

He recalls a story from a pick in Arkansas. He was talking to the lone proprietor of the last standing business on Main Street. The man’s eyes welled up as he talked of happier times — of times when Main Street was where you came to shop as well as catch up with your neighbors and chew the fat about town goings-on. He said something to Wolfe that pangs him to this day: Imagine outliving your friends and how hurtful that feels. Now imagine outliving your town.

“Traveling is about moments,” he declares. “Why do we need to know what those moments are before we leave? Get out there. Go explore.”

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61 Comments

61 thoughts on “PICKING ON NASHVILLE: AMERICAN AIRLINES, CELEBRATED LIVING – FALL 2015”

  1. Judy Horton

    I enjoyed this article very much. I have not seen the HGTV show, but I will be looking for it.
    Mike is a down to Earth guy who wants to save History and then goes about and does just that.
    I love to watch the Pickers show. I have learned much from seeing it. I would love to meet Mike and Frank one day.

    1. Rita Casey

      You won’t see Mike on HGTV. American Pickers is on the History Channel. My family & I watch every episode! We tape the new ones every week. Love what he brings to TV.

  2. Judy

    Love the whole crew on Pickers! Great show! Spotlights simpler times closer mankind and awesome ingenuity! Love learning history in a personal hands on way!

  3. Nancy

    My husband and I took our grandchildren to the store in Nashville. We all loved the store; but, my grandchildren were fascinated. My granddaughter had to have the t-shirt “In Rust we Trust”. I think she’s going to wear it out. Wears it to school at least once a week. I know we’ve seen all or at least most American Pickers. But going in the store was a real treat.

  4. Sam

    I was traveling through Nashville yesterday and I took a few minutes to stop by Antique Archeolgy. It was fun seeing the store and all the cool old items. I love the show and I really appreciate what Mije and Frank do with preserving history through rusty metal! Keep picking!

    1. Maria

      The country , the people, the stuff and some of the stories behind the stuff!!! Also I wish I had the “moxie” Danielle has. Last but not least, Frank is just too sweet, but he will also tell it like is!!

  5. Barb Cherry

    We watch Pickers all the time, and back in August we were in Nashville, on our way to the Longest Yard sale. We stopped by the store and we were too early so we went to the Garage Coffee Shop, where much to our delight Lauren walked in and she graciously let us interrupt her morning for pics. What a pleasant young lady she is and when time came we went to the store to shop and she greeted us, like we were old friends. Made our day!

  6. DeAnn Beck

    Mike, I love to watch your show and go back in time with you. When you explore the old Barnes and find treasures. I feel like I am right there with you. I have learned so much. Thank you for the adventure. Keep on truckin. See you on the tube.chow for now

  7. Karla Wolters

    Hi Mike, Frank and Danielle!
    I enjoy your show so much that I watch ALL the reruns on Wednesdays, as well as the new shows. I have been a collector for over 50 years and I am still amazed how much I learn from you guys! Danielle is invaluable–don’t ever let her go. She is a terrific part of your team! I am eager to come to your store in October and hope to see some of you. Keep up the good pickin’
    Sincerely,
    Karla

  8. Bill Poyner

    My wife & I have been to the Nashville store (3) times and plan to stop in again when in the area. We love your show and what you do. I grew up in a small country community about 65 miles from Nashville. I graduated from UT-Martin in ’73 and then moved to southern Indiana where I met my wife and raised our children. I worked nearly 41 years for the same company in a small town in southern Indiana. You are totally correct about enjoying the life living in a small town where everyone knows each other and enjoyed their history. Most people today haven’t had that experience.
    Your show brings back many memories and it also helps educate many people about a world they may not experience otherwise.
    Keep up the good work. Hope to meet you someday and thank you personally.
    Best Regards,
    Bill Poyner
    PS: we now have a small farm 65 miles west of Nashville near where I grew up as a kid and near 3 younger brothers. We spend as much time as possible there while also having a condo near our daughter and grandkids in Indianapolis, IN.

  9. Phyllis Kates

    I recently moved to an area and after living with an outdoor antenna for decades I had to get cable to watch TV. Thank goodness I did because that’s how I discovered American Pickers. I love antiques and have bought what few my budget could afford. The relationship between Mike and Frank and their filming style is very natural and down to earth. I especially love the fact that in some cases the boys will offer the seller more money because they believe that the item is worth more than the seller is asking. I’m a Rotarian and Mike and Frank are great examples of our Four Way Test: 1) Is it the truth? 2) Is it fair to all concerned? 3) Will it build goodwill and better friendships? 4) Is it beneficial to all. If they’re ever picking in San Bernardino I’d love to treat them to lunch at our weekly meeting.
    Can’t get enough of this show. I hope to make it to one of their stores someday.

  10. David Williams

    Very good reading mike, I have enjoyed your show since It first aired on History channel. Why you might ask. When I was a little boy in Kalamazoo, Michigan. we lived less than a mile from the town dump, my brother and me used to go to the dump and explore and see what kind of “neat junk” we could find. We used to drag home all sorts of things, only greeted by my mom and told us to drag it right back. however even long after that old dump closed, I found a spot that must have been used in the early days, I found very old bottles just inches below the surface, that time mom did not tell me to take them back, I sold them last year for very good money. so I guess that i was and still look for “neat junk”

  11. George Madden

    Hello Mike
    Interesting article. I watch your show quite often and enjoy it very much.
    Sincerely
    George
    PS The next time your in New Hampshire I have Boys English Bike that is about 70 years old as near as I can find out. My Uncle used to live in Boston MA and every once in a while would ride it to our town Derry NH a distance of 45 miles, he never had a Drivers Licence. My Dad ended up with this Bike and then it was left to me.

  12. Seymour Maslov

    I would like you to stop by when you are in my area. I have a lot of old things that you would be interested in. I think you were here in 2001 when I had my garage sale. You bought a peanut machine and a folding bicycle. I enjoy your show.

  13. Janet Olszewski

    The beauty of this show is no one is stuck up and they have taught us that everything old is young again….people’s stories and their memorabilia !!!! Mike and Frankie are two guys traveling, pickin, and encompassing the importance of memories!!!!! Love it!!!!

  14. Ken Centola

    My wife says I was a picker or even hoarder before American Pickers started on the television. We always look to see what they pick and check to see if we have anything similar to it. To me Mike and Frank would be a fees come true.

  15. kathy Costa

    Hi Mike,
    I enjoy reading and watching your shows and someday I would like to come and visit your place in Nashville. It is such a joy seeing what you and Frank all do. Have a wonderful Fall. See you on the back roads. Sincerely Kathy.

  16. Roger

    American Pickers is just a great show. As a picker like Mike and Frank I feel an emotional attachment in what they are doing. As the years roll along I am amazed about the things I have bought but more than that its the people I meet that really makes this the greatest thing to do. Just spending some time with some old duffer is so rewarding. I love the whole process; introducing yourself to a stranger and never knowing if you are going to relate to them or not! When and if you connect its a great feeling inside. I now have a new friend who just a few minutes ago I never knew even existed. My most important thing I have learned about picking is to just be quiet and let the other person talk, especially with an older person. Behind that face covered with deep furrows and drooping eyelids is a person. As I listen to them I see the eyes come alive! What a great moment that is!!

    Thanks Mike/Frank and Momma (Dannele)! If your ever in Mendota Heights please stop by!

    Rog
    mtfbwya!
    “Waiting Is Not Living”

  17. Bo andSue Sigers

    Hello Mike and Frank… Love your show, we watch all the time. We haven’t had the pleasure of visiting either of your stores, as of yet, but we hope to in the near future. We watch all of your shows, none is missed. Love hearing about you and your family. May God bless you both in all you do!!! Bo and Sue

  18. Bill Dorian

    Your show is fantastic–both from the historical perspective, and as pure entertainment. I’m a former Theatre professor/actor/director and I’m always fascinated by the homespun theatricality of it. I think I’ve seen all the episodes. Also, since I live in Nashville, I’ve visited the Marathon Village shop several times. It’s like stepping back in time. The show renewed my love of antiques. I used to refinish antique furniture as a young man, but hadn’t done any of that for many years. Now my love of antiques has been rekindled. I also really respect your attitude of putting items “where they need to be,” like giving Iron Eyes Cody’s old teepee to a museum. I inherited a number of items from my grandfather’s old general store (which was in Ridgetop, near Nashville), and I donated them to the Ridgetop Museum–and my dad was mayor of nearby Greenbrier, and I donated quite a few of his things to the Greenbrier Museum. All this to say ‘thanks’ for rejuvenating my love of historic artifacts.

  19. Randy Yates

    Is it possible to have a copy of the American Airlines Celebrate Living Magazine Fall 2015 issue mailed to me ?

    Don’t fly very often & someone sent me a link to an article published in this issue & wanted to have a hard copy for myself.

    If so, here’s my mailing address:

    Randy Yates
    107 Raintree Road
    Madison, MS 39110

    Thanks,

    Randy

  20. Jen

    Really great article. I’ve been to the Antique Archaeology shop in Nashville a couple times – haven’t been lucky enough to spot Mike or Frank – but it’s incredible. So much care has been put into making it a real living museum. Antique bikes hang from the rafters, there are display cases and dimly-lit curios full or curiosities, artifacts from the American Pickers show, and it all for sale. It’s just a really neat vibe. They’ve done such a great job, and it’s really encouraging to see such a historic corner of Nashville coming to life again. Great job, Mike! Keep it up!

  21. John Kowalski

    What a nice article about Mike and his team of other wonderful Americans who have made dreams come true through commitment, hard work, passion and taking risk!

    You have given us all something for which we can be proud.

    Just wanted to say that my work has had me overseas for the last 23 years. The times I have gotten home (to Milwaukee) I balanced my time between visiting family and traveling the backroads of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and even parts of Iowa looking for those real things and real people that are the local color of our Midwestern communities. I cherished those times when back overseas and remembered home through the rusty junk I found on those trips and restored and used while away.

    I was delighted to see the show with Mike, Frank and Danielle…and the real show stars…the people the team meets while picking. I’m not as homesick any longer as I can still see those wonderful people and parts of America and their stuff (every piece having its own story).

    Thanks for taking the risk to put on such a production that shows the world one on the best parts of America. It is a visit home each time it comes on.

    (The History Channel carries the show. South Africa based DSTV broadcasts it over many parts of Africa including Namibia where I am currently.)

    I look forward to visiting one of the shops on one of my future visits home. Thanks again!

  22. Adam Right

    Jeezzz it sure would be nice to just lay on the floor of your shop for one night,as the send of a old wood stove fills the shop with the sweet smell of a apple wood smoke sent, on a cool fall day, just so I could look up and around at all the neat stuff and imagine all the cool story’s behind all them things, almost breaks your heart to know of a time gone by, humm that would be so cool to do !

    There was once a time when things were so swell, the old corner store to the family run saw mill, when the roads were of dust and the cars had some rust and all the pepole we did not know we’re like family we had trust, to the old swinging metal sign that swung in the wind to my old Blues pal on his porch blowing his harp sipping Gin, everything was so nice and in a slow stepping way ,how my eyes fill with tears as them days slip away, So we all give a cheer to our young pal named Mike, for carrying the torch of our past while riding his indian bike, he brings us the past and old memories we still have, of the history of this life that our parents once had, we cherish the inspiration Mike gives us every day, of the past of our great history he too is a treasure and a brother I say !
    Live long and healthy our great kind friend, and may our paths cross on all the swell picks again and again !

    Adam
    Innisfil, Ontario, Canada.

  23. Barbara Heckart

    What happened to Frank? I haven’t seen him for a long time. Did he stay in Iowa? And Danielle? How about her?

    My friend, Kathy Trocheck AKA Mary Kay Andrews, stopped at your shop in LeClaire a couple of years ago and we got to meet you and Danielle, but not Frank. My husband and I stopped at the shop in Nashville a year or so ago and saw you, but you were surrounded by many other fans.

    Good luck in your “pickings.”

  24. Bob

    I wanted to take the time to say how grateful I am to Mike Wolf and Frank Fritz for educating me in the finer side of collecting. I’m talking about the passion and respect one should have not only for the objects we find, more importantly the people and places and stories behind the objects.
    Mike Wolf’s passion about what he does is not just about the money. It’s about all of it. The whole experience of the people, places and things. The origins, the stories behind the why and how the people first came across what they collected.
    I have always enjoyed going to garage sales, flea markets, swap meets. All of the genre. But not until listening to Mike and Frank and what they do and why they do it did I understand the passion and respect we should have towards collecting.
    Thank you guys for the education and new outlook on picking. I hope your show continues for many, many more years. By the way………………Danielle is a definite treasure and real easy on the eyes.

  25. Donna

    We were on our way out west on vacation a few months ago. We got as far as Davenport, Iowa, the first night. Found out where LaClare was and drove there the next morning. Unfortunately, the store didn’t open until 10:00 a.m. and we were up early to get going to Mt. Rushmore, S.D. However, just to be there was a thrill and to see the old car, the new building, your white van and look in the windows. Loved to see the objects that the “boys” picked on TV. Sorry we didn’t get to meet any of you, but it was exciting just being there. My husband left his business card in the door. Keep pickin and we’ll be watchin!

  26. Norman bolduc

    Love your show and would like to visit one of your stores but I don’t get that way very much,keep up the good work keeping history alive,look forward to every show,sure would be nice if you had more information about the people on your show,I.e. Pictures of you and frank and dianelle and your brother too.

  27. Gene Bonnema

    Hey all you guys. My wife (Sherry) and I love your show. We tried to get to the store in Nashville (we live in Franklin) but it was so packed with people and there was a line outside, so we decided to drive to LeClaire and see that store instead—-and we did. We were there in early July of this year and just loved it. Got a lot of pictures to prove it. Thanks to all of you guys for putting on such a good clean and fun show for all of us to see. I am 72 but almost feel like I want to do what you guys do. Keep on rollin! (We still are planning on seeing the Nashville store too)

    Gene and Sherry Bonnema
    Franklin TN

  28. Marilyn Brown

    Watch every show and so enjoy you and Frank uncovering many stories from items of the past. Thank you for saving our childhood memories thru picking. Know LeClaire well as my roots began in Scott County. Continue your enthusiasm of saving our rich heritage.

  29. William Alexander

    Howdy. Came by your store in LeClaire, on july 12th. must have missed ya. Got a tee shirt and a coozie. Lots of pictures. Have friends in Iowa, so was able to make the trip. P/S. I live in Allen Tx. Was hoeing to get a picture with Danelle. By the way. Maybe you may know about this. Its an Old bike made by “Murry Ohio MFG. Front lable says Mark 2″ great shape. Been in a garage for 40 yrs or so. Also know where very good cond. “Schwin 2 seater in excellent cond. is.” looks preety old but gret cond. If intersted Ill , send pictures. Have a great day.

  30. Steve Bailen

    We have been big fans of the show since it started. Last year my wife and I were traveling back from our family farm in Minnesota to our home in Florida and we stopped off in Le Claire, Iowa to see the shop. We were told Mike and Frank were out on the road. I bought a pair of the work gloves to use on the farm. Earlier this year, In Late May, We were traveling back north and were driving through Nashville. I wasn’t even thinking about Antique Archaeology or the show. My wife was driving and we missed our exit. I looked up from the gps on my cell phone and out of the corner of my eye I saw the iconic red brick Marathon Motors building I had seen on TV. I told to her get off here. We winded our way past warehouses and over some train tracks. What a fantastic and unexpected treat it was. Great shop. Musicians were playing. Naturally I had to buy a tee shirt.

  31. MaryLisa Noyes

    I loved reading this article and that it is from AA magazine ( my husband is a retired Captain). I have followed your shows and your blogs and I admire your appreciation for the past. So many things can find new life and love with new owners.

  32. Ray Sennett

    Hey Mike! I’ve been a big fan of your show ( American Pickers) from day one and glad to see your business expand. I think you and Frank compliment each other. Danielle, too, is a huge percentage of your overall success, so as another fan said, don’t let her go! I truly love the whole idea of your show, the ” mechanics”, it’s real, it’s historical, and it’s ( items picked),being salvaged to a new home. Would love to see a new ” addition” /segment,to your show that would allow the viewers/fans to see some of YOUR favorite picks that you kept for yourself and/or turned into a project and the outcome ( ” finished product”). I love antiques and the true stories and history that is behind each object. Glad to see you ” teamed” with Rick Dale ( Ricks Restorations” a while back, he is a TRUE MASTER of restoration and has a TRUE passion for his art as you do with yours. Good luck with everything, my eleven year old daughter and I love your show, keep producing a fine, enjoyable ” product” ( American Pickers- History Channel)!!!!
    Indian motorcycles rule, do they not?!!!

  33. Michele Wagster

    I have a few items you might be interested in one is a cast iron wood and coal burning Sears stove, Old Elvis newspapers, Glassware, Old Sears and Robuck catalogue,Hand crank trolling motor just to name a few I am getting rid of them because of my age I may as well enjoy the money while I am still Here Thand you

  34. Terri Rasmussen

    This is for Mike… could you please tell me how to go about getting the true value on a few pieces that look mint? One of my daughters and her other half have some items that look mint and they have not cleaned them. They have a set of “carriage” lights from back when they were used on horse and carriages. When they used candles, and they look in mint condition. I don’t believe they want to sell any of the items, but would like to see what the value is. She even has a cook book that has no copywrite but has a note in it dated in the 1800’s. Plus someone said their wood/cook stove is worth over $10,000.00+. I have pics in my cell phone that she sent to me. If there is a way to send them to you so that you could look and maybe give us an idea of how much they are worth then it would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks for your time
    Terri :)

    P.S. I can give you my cell number but not in the sight.

  35. ken

    I am from England uk i enjoy watching mike and frank chatting to the hoardes of USA secondhand as we sometimes call it in UK
    They are great at breaking down the resistance to sell,to me they are very genuine pair of guys,we know they have to make profit they do it so well, it amazes me when in the yards sometimes they find an old gas pump over grown with ivy, with a resistance to sell but they show respect to the seller,and anyitem with great history they feel should be keep in museums they pass on, you doing a great job guys love the show,we have similar show in UK,Drew Pritchard Aritectural Antiques Conway North England,mike and drew in my opinion are very similar pair they show a passion to restore and save things of the past for future generations to enjoy. ken Harris birmingham

  36. Richard Moreland, Retired Air Force 22 years 1953-1975

    I am an 80 year old retired/100% diisabled Airnam with 22 years service with our great Air Force. I have been folowing Frank n Mike all over ths great contry of ours every week and most times i can feel myself sitting right there with them, Getting up there with Frank and Mike you relly come across the true Amercans and their no fancy panzy way of iving. They are the true core of the American people and the rest of us could learn a lot from them by traveling around this greart country getting into the off beaten paths with the interstate disappearing in our rear view mirror, let the dust roll up behind our vehiclles and enjoy the RUSTY CRUST and the RED of the RUST. Possible picking along the way and help America to maintain some of our past and heritage. This old Airman has been chasing after the Antique Archaeology boy’s. I mised them this last yeat in Iowa as Frank was in Nashville and Mike was taking time off before the next shooting of the next epissode of Antique Archaeology. you can bet your boots, I WILL cross thier path one of these days before I fly off to my preminate Air Force Base in the sky.

    1. Sarah Buckholtz

      Thank you for all your service and sacrifice, Richard. We love hearing how much you enjoy the show and are happy to have you as a fan! Please make it to Nashville or Iowa whenever you can! We’d love to see you, catch up, and thank you in person.

  37. Randy Akard

    Hey American Pickers!! I have loved y’all since your first episode. When the show started I was so excited to know there was still like-minded people around. I am 54 years old and have been diggin in junk and dumpster divin my whole life. I love finding old things and bringing them back to life. And what most people throw away, I definitely regard as treasure. In this “Bic lighter” society, where once something is used it is discarded and a new one bought; it is fantastic to see the passion y’all have for the old and unique. My wife, Vicky and I love to go out in search of treasures and actually have a little shop of our own in Hope, AR. where we sell and trade…nothing on the scale of what you have, but it’s ours. I guess I have been a picker since way before I knew what the name meant.
    Please keep up the cool work. In our lifetimes, we have witnessed the complete deterioration of quality built, character built items…nothing is “COOL” , “NEAT”, or as Mike would say, “RAD” anymore. Nobody seems to appreciate special belongings anymore. When I was a kid, I rode my Schwinn with the banana seat, sissy bar, and ape hangers (all polished and lubed of course) up town to the five-n-dime for a grape Nehi and a pack of baseball cards. When I got there, I would pick a safe place to park and put the kick stand down and not let go until I was positive the bike would stand. Now days kids jump off the bike while its still rolling and where it lands is where it is. Your show reminds me of what life was like when hard work, respect and decency mattered. Thank you very much. Randy.

    1. Sarah Buckholtz

      Randy, we think you’re rad and cool. Thanks for the kind words. We’d love to see you in the shop very soon!

  38. Audry Briere

    I just love the fact that some people don’t want the past to disappear. Watching your show brings me back to the days when you got the most for your money, and things lasted many years, so you didn’t have to run out and buy a new one right away! I love all things vintage, and hope maybe sometime I can catch one of the shows from Massachusetts! Thank you for bringing those memories back to us!

  39. Debbie Welch

    Of course wr love the show and my granddaughter often warches with me. I’ve been a picker since the 70’s but have slowed down with 2 garages a d 2 large storage units full. My son, grandaughter and I were in Nashville for her doctor’s visit st Vanderbilt when we stopped in your shop for the second time. I truly get a thrill out of seeing so many of the items there that I’ve watched you dig out of crumbling old homes and decaying barns. Have yo say that the big “piggy head” is my favorite and always makes me laugh, remembering Frank tring it on! What a hoot! We were quite lucky on this visit since you, along with your white haired compadre, stopped in with a motorcycle that you proceeded to drive into a parked car! Dang…not sure if your pride or your ankle hurt worse. Lol! I remember telling you better have it looked at. The ambulance and fire trucks appeared ( I don’t think they needed 8+ guys to show up…maybe they wanted to see you?) I hope your injury has healed, as well as your pride. : ) Thank yo again for taking time to get a pic or two with Elly, my grandaughter. It ran in our local newspaper on a quarter page. Now I can pass my love of picking, and yours, down to another generation. Sweet pickin’!
    Deb in Madisonville

  40. Rhys

    My wife and I met Mike a couple of years ago in Daytona Beach. Indian sponsored a ride of 10-12 bikes to ride with Mike around Daytona Beach. It was a lot of fun and after the ride got to talk with Mike for a bit. He is down to earth and just a nice guy. I hope he stays grounded and never goes Hollywood like some of the other personalities. He spoke of his little girl and the excitement and joy she brings to his life.
    I mentioned he had picked a friend and neighbor’s house in southern NH. We had a nice chat and hope to catch up with him sometime in the future. My wife and I were in Nashville doing the tourist thing and of course swung by the store to buy a mandatory tee.
    I wish him continued success and never forgot his roots.
    Regards
    Rhys

  41. Barry Sharp

    I’m an Australian viewer an I absolutely love this show and can’t get enough. I watch many of the re-runs on both free to air and pay tv. American Pickers is much better and far mor informative than the flopped Australian version which only ran for 2 seasons and had rather poor characters doing the picking. Mike and Frank are great and work so well together. I particularly love the old classic cars and motor bikes and their knowledge of Harley’s and Indians is extrordinary. I saw the actual Worlds Fastest Indian on display in Invarcargil NZ where much of Bert Munroes bikes and antique equipment collection is on display. Particularly love Danni, she helps make the show what it is. Please keep up the good work. I would love to come to Nashville or LeClaire and meet all of the crew but unfortunately because of health problems I can’t travel.
    All the Best,
    Barry

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