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The Scarlet & Black

History Channel’s American Pickers coming to Grinnell

By Kelsey Roebuck

The History Channel’s popular new TV show “American Pickers” will make its way to small-town Grinnell this month. The Pickers search coast-to-coast for forgotten relics.

The Pickers and their production crew are expected to be in Grinnell sometime between May 8 and May 20. Their visit will mean a lot to the community, according to Bryan Schultz, Marketing Manager for the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce.

“This gets Grinnell’s name out there,” Schultz said. “If it makes people curious and they visit the Chamber of Commerce website, we win.”

The titular Pickers, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, are originally from Le Clare, in eastern Iowa, where Wolfe owns a shop called Antique Archaeology. Employee Danielle Colby-Cushman minds the shop while the Pickers are gone and directs “the boys” to places where they are likely to make good finds. The Pickers’ love of good deals and interesting antiques guides them to homes across the country where they “pick” through heaps of old belongings in the hopes of finding something valuable.

The show also provides the history behind the relics that Wolfe and Fritz find. The Pickers explain the significance of their purchases, which range from old European clocks to keepsakes from the sites of famous bank robberies.

Although producers were originally wary of a show that seemed to be all about collecting junk, Wolfe and Fritz have been met with great success. According to the History Channel’s website, 3.2 million people tuned in during the first season in 2010. The show quickly became the most popular new series on cable.

The popularity of “American Pickers” is sure to add to the recognition the Grinnell community will receive if highlighted on the show.

“Frankly, I don’t think there are many cities in Iowa with the resources to buy an ad on the History Channel, especially in a primetime slot,” Schultz said. “As far as publicity value, it’s priceless.”

Thanks to the Grinnell community’s enthusiastic response, the show’s producers have a list of over 70 people whose barns, basements, and attics hold a wealth of possibly valuable antiques—and therefore valuable publicity.

“It really is exactly what this show showcases,” Schultz said. “It’s a lot of folks who just have a whole lot of stuff stuffed in a barn somewhere.”

So far, no one from the College seems to be on the list of those nominated to be on the show.

“If somebody on campus does have a collection … that would be very interesting, and I think that would be very unique to them,” Schultz said, “in the end, it’s about what’s good for TV—they’re looking for characters.”

“American Pickers” airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. on the History Channel.

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  • R

    Roy IsmondMay 28, 2011 at 8:47 am

    we love the pickers

  • T

    TruckmanMay 15, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    I love American Pickers! Great show! Those guys are always crawling over stuff I want. But unfortunately I am from Alberta and the History Channel decided that we need to watch that borefest Canadian Pickers. I watched it once but it was like I suspected, a couple of guys with the character of oatmeal dressed like buckskin wannabees, yuck! Let us have American Pickers back!