Murray County

January 10, 2012

'Pickers' pick Murray

Chris Ledford expected the stars of one of his favorite television shows to stop in Murray County at some point “because there’s a lot of junk here,” he said with a laugh.

But others said they were surprised to see Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz from the History Channel’s “American Pickers” in a quiet subdivision in Spring Place on Sunday.

The show follows Wolfe and Fritz through rural America as they “pick” — search for — forgotten relics (some may consider them junk) to restore and resale. The show airs Monday nights at 9.

“American Pickers” was filming an episode at a home on Monte Carlo Drive in Springdale Estates. A publicist for the show did not immediately return messages and emails requesting information on the episode on Monday. No one answered the door at the home Monday morning, and no one responded to a note left on the door requesting an interview.

Word that “American Pickers” was in Springdale Estates spread thanks to Facebook and text messages, prompting many to go to the subdivision in hopes of catching a glimpse of the duo from the show.

Sheila Manis, who lives nearby, said she may have sparked the rush into her subdivision.

“I was out of Coke and was going to the grocery store to get more,” Manis said. “I drove by there. At first I was upset because the RV was in the road and I thought, ‘How rude.’ Then I noticed a truck and thought ‘Oh, God. That’s those guys Matt (her grown son) watches all the time.’”

Manis called her son, who didn’t believe her at first. After she’d convinced him the “Pickers” were really there, he began informing others.

“The next thing I knew it looked like a family reunion coming down the road,” Manis said.

It didn’t take long for others to begin crowding the streets.

Adrian Stone, of Spring Place, abandoned her plans for an afternoon at the mall with her 7-year-old son, Tad, to take him to meet the stars of the show.

“A friend posted it on Facebook,” she said. “When I saw they were in Spring Place, I asked him if he wanted to go, and of course he did. He was very excited.”

When they arrived, they asked a law enforcement officer if it was OK for them to be there. He told them to park out of the way, but they could stay in the area.

“They were still filming when we got there,” Stone said. “A woman with production said if we hang around they’ll do autographs. She said if there’s time, they’ll talk and we can get our picture made with them.”

They couldn’t see most of the filming because it was taking place in a building behind the house.

“Tad was glued,” she said. “We are big fans of the show. We have it DVR’ed. Tad loves to come home and watch that instead of cartoons.”

Tad said he had fun watching the show being filmed and meeting Wolfe and Fritz.

“They pick old stuff, and I like to pick old stuff,” Tad said when asked why he likes the show. “They asked if I was a kid ‘picker,’ and I said yes.”

Tad saves his money so he can collect “old stuff” like the guys on the show. He recently bought a pirate ship at a yard sale that he’s anxious to clean and “fix up.”

Angel Campbell said a friend notified her of the filming, but said he was told he couldn’t go down the street during production. So Campbell didn’t bother going until Ledford contacted her saying he’d met Wolfe and Fritz, who took some time for fans.

“I found out they were signing autographs and taking pictures,” Ledford said. “All I had was a $1 bill. They signed it and took a picture with me. I watch that show every Monday. They were super nice.”

Campbell said the show doesn’t do the two men justice.

“What you see on TV is not as nice as they really are,” she said. “I was really impressed with Mike. He was talking to kids and bending down to their level to talk to them. Frank was running around giving high-fives.”

Manis stopped to get pictures with the men, but she also watched part of the filming from her neighbor’s house.

“We could see stuff they were taking out,” she said. “They bought some motorcycle parts, a motorcycle ... some stuff I don’t know much about. It surprised me. What are the ‘American Pickers’ doing at a nice house in a subdivision?”

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