This episode of American Pickers was pretty amusing, primarily due to a showdown between man and beast. Curious? Well, read on for all the gory details….
Mike and Frank are doing a bit of freestyle picking in Kentucky and stop at the home of Charlie, a collector who attends at least three auctions a week. Charlie has a ton of stuff, but it’s actually somewhat organized. His vast assortment of vintage tools are all hanging in one area. His dozens of fishing rods are bundled together in another area. And his huge collection of fishing reels is neatly arranged inside an old refrigerator.
I like Charlie. He is my kind of collector. He knows exactly what he has, where it is, and what it’s worth. He’s not too interested in selling anything unless he gets the price he asks. Frank buys an antique lock for $30 and some old doorknobs, and tries to employ his bundling tactic, but Charlie isn’t having any of that. Frank eventually gives in and buys two cases of vintage marbles for $140 — a price that still seems like a bargain to me. The cases alone are probably worth $30. Vintage marbles can sell for crazy amounts, and I doubt Frank will have trouble turning a profit on this set.
Charlie tells the Pickers that he has a barn they can look through, but he won’t accompany them down the hill to go in it with them. As Mike and Frank cross the field, giddy at the anticipation of what the barn might hold, they spot a red-eyed emu walking their way. They hightail it to the barn and Frank tries to squeeze through a hole in the wall before the emu can get to him. He yells to Mike that he’s stuck, to which Mike replies, “Aw, you’re f**ked,” while Charlie laughs. Frank slips in, and the emu has them pinned down in the barn.
Mike finds a cast iron fireplace mantle and buys it for $40, but now he has to haul it up the hill to the van. While the Pickers were searching the barn, a large pig appears in the field along with a donkey. Charlie assures them that the donkey is the mean one.
Mike and Frank make it back up the hill unscathed, where Charlie tells them that the animals are pets, and the local kids like to come out and play with them.
We get to see a bit of Danielle this week, as a couple visits the shop looking for some decor for their new bar. For $525, Danielle sells them the cool liquor store sign the Pickers found on “Mike’s Breakdown” episode.
We get back to some more Kentucky freestyling, where the Pickers find Frank, who has some neat items. Mike breaks the ice by buying an old brass squeeze horn with two horns and a broken bulb. Picker Frank buys a 1950’s Masudaya Modern Toy fire truck that is like new for just $40. Mike buys a gold Colonel Sanders pin for $15.
The Pickers are looking for a big score, not these little items, and Frank tells them about his friend, Jerry, who lives in town, so they head to town and pay Jerry a visit.
It might be safe to say that Jerry has the coolest assortment of items out of all the people we have seen on American Pickers. He has a train boxcar in his yard! He’s been picking all his life, and it shows. This is probably what Mike’s house will look like when he is old and gray.
One of the many, many things in Jerry’s yard is a 1957 BMW motorcycle witha sidecar, decked out for battle with a 50 caliber gun. This looks like something straight out of the new Captain America movie, and I want it. I typically dis all the bikes and motorcycles found on Pickers, but this is one that I would want to own. Of course, it wouldn’t be street legal with that gun and all, but I could certainly find a way to display it in the man cave. Jerry wants $9,000, which leaves no room for profit, so the Pickers pass on it.
Jerry’s mantra for picking success is “ornery, unusual or different.” If you buy things that fall into those categories, you will be successful at picking. Everything in Jerry’s house fits the bill, including Jerry.
Frank buys two Burmingham Small Arms (BSA) BB Guns for $450 for the pair, and Mike buys a large wooden airplane propeller for $500. While the camera tries to take in all the awesome stuff, we get a glimpse of a life size Jar Jar Binks and Spiderman.
This is the point in the show where Mike gasps like a little girl upon finding a 1938 Schwinn Autocycle with a double duty front end. Less than ten of these bikes have ever been found. It’s kind of cool to watch someone find one of their collecting “holy grails” and Mike is genuinely giddy. This would be like me finding a 1930’s King Kong movie poster rolled up in someone’s closet. Mike tries to keep his cool while Jerry tells him the bike could be had for $1,000 — SOLD with no hesitation or haggling. The bike is worth $5,000.
I think they could have spent an entire episode at Jerry’s place, but the Pickers move on to visit an old friend of Mike’s. Ruby is a “prop master” in Tennessee, and runs the White Elephant Emporium. She has a large warehouse of props used in music videos and movies.
Unfortunately for Mike and Frank, Ruby’s prices are pretty steep, and she is emotionally attached to most of her inventory. Mike eventually manages to get her to sell an old shoeshine chair on a pedestal for $295. He also buys a ratty old Steiff, jointed teddy bear for $50, and Frank buys a vintage coin collector from a bus for $40.
Mike is enamored with a creepy old dentist’s chair with all its original spittoons and tools. It looked like a torture machine from Little Shop of Horrors. Mike buys it for $300. and takes it to an appraiser to learn that they might be able to sell it for $1,000. The chair was produced by Ritter around 1920. “Surprisingly,” there isn’t a huge audience for this kind of thing, but tattoo artists like them, and use them in their shops.
There were some nice finds on this episode. I would love to visit Jerry’s shop in Kentucky, just to see some of the amazing things he has unearthed in all his days of picking. Did you see anything you would love to add to your collection? Do tell.