American Pickers

May 14, 2018 — Leave a comment

There are so many “reality” shows on TV anymore that they seem to be over produced to the point of ridiculousness. All, it seems are scripted to the point of “really are you shitting me” stupid. There are a couple that even though scripted are enjoyable to watch. Deadliest Catch is at the top of the list With American Pickers right behind; Mike Wolf and Frank Fritz.

I love the pure adventure of the crab catchers because there is no way I would have ever tried to do what they do even when I was young and fearless. Those guys make big bucks for 60to90 days’ work on the boat but they earn every penny of it: working on a deck that is bucking like a wild horse, with wind and water blowing in your face and down your neck, rogue waves trying to wash you off the boat, and cold like you cannot imagine. And if this is not enough to turn you off then 24 to 36 hours of it with only brief food and pee breaks. The catch must be caught. Temper flair and it seems the deck hands have never heard of the boss rules. Rule # 1; the boss (captain) is always right and Rule # 2; if the boss (Captain) is wrong see rule # 1!

So back to the pickers, I have always enjoyed looking at old things. I bought my first antiques when I was 12 at a household auction on W. Jefferson St. here in Franklin and I still have them; a pressed glass cracker jar and about a dozen sterling silver spoons.  John Friederorf was the auctioneer and he held up a hand full of black nasty looking spoons and asked for a bid. I think I bought them for a dollar or two. After I got them in my hands I worked the tarnish off the back of one or two spoons and they were both Sterling. Later I found that they were all Sterling worth a lot more than I gave for them. I still have them and I’m sure they still need to be polished.

I have always been intrigued by old things. I wanted to know what they did and how they worked. During my younger years I went to lots of farm and house hold auctions and accumulated lots of old tools and things no longer used. Kept these for a longtime but when we moved here to the reservation they went to the sale place. We still have some old things around the house, myself included, and I hope the kids will someday learn to appreciate them and maybe find a place for them.

Back to Mike and Frank, I am amazed at the finds they discover on their program and wonder how they set them up with the recording crew and make it look like they just drive up and “hello” we are here.  Their producers and film crew make each episode look so natural and unscripted and I guess that’s why I watch so much of the show, even reruns. I just read an article on F/B that said that a lot of work goes into each episode, even planting some of the thing they appear to find. But, anyway, I continue to watch just to see things I’ve never seen before or at least not for a long time.

To end this rambling I will tell a personal story about a real antique I was involved with. My Colorado son-in-law is an engineer and has lots of wonderful tools that he uses to make things around the house. I think it was the last time I was there that he asked me about monkey wrenches. I, to the best of my ability explained what they looked like and what they were used for. The pre-runner of the crescent wrench we use today. What I call my Kentucky socket set.

Sometime after we returned home I began wondering if I had really explained to Rich, son-in-law, the proper description of a monkey wrench.  I finally convinced the boss we needed to go to the antique mall at Edinburg to find a small monkey wrench to send to Rich. So, off we went and after about an hour I found a very well preserved and functioning small monkey wrench, only $7.00 and about 2 pounds, a real bargain. The next day I took the wrench to the UPS store with a note to Rich explaining why I was sending the gift. I had UPS pack the wrench and note to insure proper handling of the wrench, $20.00 I think.

About a week later we get a call from daughter Lisa with a question about the package Rich had received from me.  The package came all sealed up with tape and a note that seemed to describe something that was supposed to be inside. The monkey wrench was MIA and after calling UPS they put out an APB to track the route the wrench took but to no avail. To this date the monkey wrench is still missing, mainly because no one at UPS knew what a monkey wrench looked like so it has never been found. I can only imagine that somewhere  this old thing is lying around with people having  no idea what it is but only that it makes a real good door stop.


Thanks for listening

Richard Isley

The Crotchety Old Man


Edited and approved by Linda.

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