History Channel visits Woodruff AreaMarch 18, 2012 No Comments
When local teacher Beth Ramey read that “American Pickers” TV series would be coming to South Carolina, she immediately knew that she needed to write to them. Ramey said, “I had a two-fold purpose. I wrote to Jodi Friedman at Cineflix in New York back on January 7 saying that Steve, my husband, was Mike Wolfe’s look-alike; I also gave them a lead on a potential pick.” Ramey told the producer about a friend of her’s, Pete, who had some treasures in which they be interested, but left out his name because she had not contacted him. Friedman, the show’s producer, contacted Ramey less than a week later and was excited about meeting Pete. Ramey says that she and Friedman kept in close contact as she would have to go “find Pete” often for Friedman because Pete doesn’t always answer his phone. Ramey continued, “Week after week I would trek to Enoree to go find him and deliver a message for him to call the producer so that they could finalize plans.” Ramey, in a way, is a picker herself, enjoying combing through other people’s “junk” for just that right piece of furniture or item that she may use in their home or cabin that Steve and his dad built.
Ramey’s email wasn’t the only one producers received from the Woodruff area, there were many, which is why “American Pickers” decided to send Mike and Frank, hosts of the show, to the Woodruff area. On Thursday, March 1st, the community got a little taste of Hollywood. Well, maybe not Hollywood exactly, but several people in the area had the opportunity to meet with the producer and hosts of the History Channel’s “American Pickers” which resulted in some residents likely being featured in an upcoming episode. Charlie Shield of the Swtizer community was an area resident who contacted the program. Shields has an old volkwagon collection that he wanted to show the pickers and he knew several of his neighbors would want to do the same. Sheild felt sure that the Pickers would be interested in Tommy Turner’s storehouse of collectibles. Turner and his wife, Iris, own the old two-story school house building in Switzer. The building, after becoming vacant, housed Turner’s Trucking Company and Turner’s Feed and Seed store. Turner’s son, Thomas, says, “He has been collecting this, that, and the other all my life. When he closed the store, we just started storing his things in the old building.” Boyd Smith, a blacksmith and also a Switzer resident, had an idea that the pickers would be interested in some of his iron-work items. Smith has been a blacksmith all of his life, living in Woodruff for most of it. According to Mrs. Turner, “He turns iron into beautiful furniture, gates, and works of art.” For those readers who are unfamiliar with the program, American Pickers follows antique and unique treasure seekers, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz as they scour the country for hidden gems in junkyards, basements, garages and barns, meeting quirky characters and hearing their amazing stories. Hitting back roads from coast to coast, the two men earn a living by retiring forgotten relics to their former glory, transforming one person’s trash into another’s treasure. After meeting with area residents and making some purchases, the producer arranged for Mr.and Mrs. Ramey to meet Mike and Frank at Pete’s peanut stand right beside Lil’ Cricket in Enoree; that plan didn’t work out because they were running behind on the taping of the show. They wanted to get a “clean cut” but kept getting interrupted by curious on-lookers. Instead of talking with Mike and Frank, the Rameys just met them at the peanut stand and headed to Pete’s. When Mike saw Steve, he replied, “Wow, we do look alike!” He actually wrote on Steve’s signed picture, “Thanks, Brother Man!” According to Mrs. Ramey, “Mike and Frank were very nice and personable; they got everyone’s names and even remembered them.” To show them a little southern hospitality Mrs. Ramey and her mother prepared them “goody baskets” for them to carry on the road. Mike and Frank are all business when it comes to picking, and their excursion to Woodruff did not leave them empty-handed. What they purchased, no one is willing to actually say. We’ll just have to wait and watch the episode that features some of our now local celebrities. New Episodes can be seen on the History Channel, Mondays at 9/8c.Featured, Z Uncategorized