Sept, 2010Hi Family and Friends -
Well, it's now history. The History Channel was here filming for eight hours total on Sunday and Monday. They are doing a new series on antiques and "the art of junking" to be aired January-March. It is called "American Pickers" and is hosted by two men (Mike and Frank) from the Quad Cities who have a business called Antique Archaeology (www.antiquearchaeology.com). They are professional "pickers" who pick up antiques wherever they can find them and sometimes sell stuff themselves and sometime sell to dealers. When my folks had the antique shop in Chicago back in the 1970s they had some great "pickers" including an insurance salesmen who found them an original Tiffany lamp my mom bought for $2,000 and sold for $18,000 to a well-known antique gallery in New York.
The program focuses on the guys finding antiques in barns, attics, basements and places like our warehouse. They told me in advance the guys might like to buy a couple items from us but they left with a truckload - and they weren't ready to leave. The producers made them leave for the next shoot - but they said they will definitely come back to find more goodies. We need to get a lot of the stuff in the warehouse cleaned out. In case something happens to me the kids wouldn't know what are antiques and what is junk. I don't want the kids to have to someday deal with all that stuff. These guys really liked the junk better than the quality antiques and we have lots of extra cash now. There were several things they wanted to purchase but I said sorry those are for Midway Village, our local museum. And up in the warehouse we found a box of antique train track they wanted and I said sorry those are for our friend Tom. I also found up in the warehouse a pallet box (4' x 8' x 8') full of stuff that belonged to my first husband, Bruce. He put it in storage with Maury three years after I divorced him and of course never paid Maury (about $7,000). It will be interesting to go through all that stuff.
The show is generally about digging for junk and they just wanted to go through the warehouse so I turned them down initially. They called immediately to try to change my mind and let me know they were changing the show to tell our story and feature our apartment. They had been very impressed by the written tour of our apartment and the photos I e-mailed them.
They filmed most of our apartment and me telling the various stories plus a 1/2 hour interview with me in the General Store. We got Maury up in his wheelchair and he was good enough that he could talk about his tools some - and he was sure proud. He also was very clear to me that "no tools are for sale." I considered this an opportunity to honor Maury and his love of junking. His favorite was to dig in the dirtiest places to find treasures.
I'm surprised I wasn't nervous at all and guess it's because of all the tours we gave all those years and remembering how much Maury enjoyed sharing the stories. It was quite an education having eight people surrounding us with two cameras, sound equipment and directing all the action. As they were leaving the Producer and Director thanked me and said I was a "natural actress in front of the camera." The company that is filming this series is Cineflix in Toronto and they also produce some of the shows I watch on Home & Garden Television: Property Virgins, The Unsellables and For Rent. I did my homework before I agreed to make sure they were reputable.
Well, now it will be a long wait until it airs, probably in January - and I hope they do a good job editing all that film down to 15 minutes of on-air time. They will let me know the exact date and I'll pass it on.
In the last shot of film I thanked Mike and Frank for making me remember all the good years and the fun times Maury and I went digging for junk. Now I have tears in my eyes.