I want THAT job

Remember my article about suitable jobs for Steampunks and Dieselpunks? Seems I missed one or two. Antiques Dealer is also a good choice… But now imagine that:

You get to travel all around the country, digging through other people’s barns, attics and other assorted places of storage and discover all these things… And you get paid for it!

Some people do it for a living, on television! Even better: They are doing it again! This is already the second season. They have been paid for doing something incredibly fun like this before!

I am talking about these two guys:

Some guys really have all the luck… Ahem, dear History people, if you want to expand into Europe… I happen to be an anthropologist *hint-hint*, you know where to find me on the ætherweb…

Some quick info about the incredible lucky people and the person who is in charge of the home base:

Mike Wolfe

A lifelong “picker,” Mike has been combing through junk since the age of four. Over the years, he’s earned a reputation as one of the country’s foremost foragers, traveling coast to coast in search of forgotten treasures. Where other people see dilapidated barns and overgrown yards, Mike sees potential goldmines packed with rare finds and sensational stories.

Mike spends as much time as he can on the road, usually with Frank – his friend of 30 plus years and picking partner-in tow. “A picker’s kind of like a nomad,” he explains. Wherever they go, the two guys unearth hoards of unique items and spend some quality time with the offbeat characters who own them.

What exactly does Mike look for? “Anything I can make a buck on,” he laughs. That could be anything from antique baby carriages and vintage jukeboxes to old cars and scrap metal. Mike’s clients include interior designers, art directors, photographers and collectors – and he owns Antique Archaeology, a specialty shop that sells antiques, vintage items and more in sleepy Le Claire, Iowa.

Visit Mike’s official company website

Frank Fritz

Like his childhood friend Mike, Frank started picking early, collecting rocks and beer cans as a kid. He worked for many years as a fire and safety inspector but always had a passion for antiques, junk and anything with an engine. These days, he spends most of his time on the road with Mike, digging for treasure in barns, garages and junkyards across America.
Even-tempered and affable, he has a way with potential sellers and a knack for putting out fires: Mike calls him the bearded charmer. Frank does get a little carried away, however, by anything with an engine, and Mike often has to talk him out of buying yet another motorbike for his collection.

With their complementary personalities and shared love of picking, Frank and Mike make the perfect team. Still, since they’re both out to cash in on their finds, some healthy competition always comes into play.

Visit Frank’s official company website

Danielle Colby

While the guys are out picking, Danielle holds down the fort at Antique Archaeology – Mike’s store and base of operations. She spends her time talking to buyers, packing up shipments and keeping Mike and Frank in line, while they keep her in stitches with their antics and jokes. Mike likes to say she’s the glue that holds them all together. A mother of three, Danielle is always working on a new creative project, whether it’s painting, designing clothes or selling vintage-inspired gifts online. She feels extremely proud of the “boys” and fortunate to work with such a talented pair.

You can also find them at the place where the whole ætherweb congregates when it is upset or needs to be uset by someone (a bit like Sator Square in Ankh-Morpork, I guess): Facebook.

There is a similar thing on (far less cool but also very fascinating) here in Germany. On Bavarian television to be precise. It is a show called Kunst & Krempel (“Art & Junk”) and people bring their heirlooms and things they found to experts.But the format of American Diggers is far more interesting. The joy of discovery those two can experience every time…

Here are some of the treasures Mike and Frank found and which will feature in the second season:

Alas, German television will not come up with a show like this, and if they do, it is probably going to be on one of those cheap excuses for TV stations which shall remain anonymous here…