TV show “American Pickers” scouts tri-county before trip to Texas

TRI-COUNTY — A travel show based on antiques and collectibles is coming to Texas, and they want to hear from Big Bend residents with interesting stories and large collections of vintage objects.

The show — the History Channel’s “American Pickers” — follows two men, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, as they travel the country in search of antiques and interesting people. Unlike other shows focused on antiques, such as “Antiques Roadshow,” “American Pickers” focuses on buying (and not just appraising) antiques.

“American Pickers” is also more people-focused than other antiques shows, with Wolfe and Fritz often spending all day with the people they meet. Each roughly hour-long episode typically only includes a couple guests, with lengthy segments dedicated to profiling that guest’s life and backstory, Anthony Rodriguez, a member of the show’s research team, said in a phone interview on Monday.

“Our hosts are pretty much preservationists and modern archeologists,” Rodriguez explained. “They find items of significant history or perhaps value.”

“As [Wolfe and Fritz] are sorting through the items,” he added, “They love to tell the stories of the people they meet.” That could be everything from exploring the history of a multigenerational farm to unpacking how a guest came into possession of an old Art Deco movie theater.

“American Pickers” was last in Texas in 2018. On that trip, they explored Central and North Texas, visiting the towns of Terrell, Brady and Vernon as well as San Antonio.

Where the show ends up depends entirely on who they hear from and which stories they decide to focus on, Rodriguez said.

“There are times a majority of our show will be in Western Texas,” he said. “Or, we might cover the triangle from Dallas to Austin to Houston.”

Rodriguez says “American Pickers” is definitely coming back to Texas — but with so much ground to cover, they aren’t sure yet where exactly they’ll visit in the Lone Star State. That’s why they want to hear from tri-county residents.

Among the items “American Pickers” often finds in the American Southwest are vintage cowboy tools (like boots and saddles) and antique Native American items (like jewelry). But the show’s team is keeping an open mind about what they might find on this trip to Texas.

All the show asks, Rodriguez says, is that prospective guests have a “large accumulation” of Americana (and not just one or two items) and that they’re “motivated to sell.” After all, a big part of the show focuses on actually purchasing items and not just finding and appraising them.

If any tri-county residents are interested in applying to be on the show, there are few ways to do so. First, people can send the research team a message through the show’s Facebook page, “Got a Pick.” That’s

People can also email the show at Last but not least, they can also call in at 1-855-OLD-RUST (653-7878).

It remains to be seen where “American Pickers” will ultimately end up on this Texas trip. But regardless, the team is excited about the prospect of a visit to West Texas, Rodriguez  said.

“It’s always fun for us to go to the Southwest,” he said. “The wild, wild West is out there. You’ve got a lot of cowboys.”