Word is out: The men of American Pickers are heading to Michigan next month. What's not so certain? Where the team will visit when they come to the Mitten April 11-25.
One of the primary goals of the trip, said producer Jeff Eggleston, is take a look at the neon sign for the historic Ypsi-Arbor Lanes bowling alley in Ypsilanti.
"We were reached out to by the owner and ... we're trying to make that happen," Eggleston said. "Nothing is set in stone ... but we really like that story. It's a nice piece of American history that we'd love the guys to get involved in helping with."
With the alley set to close May 1, according to AnnArbor.com, conversation has centered around what will happen to the iconic sign, which has lit up the corner of Golfside Drive and Washtenaw Avenue since 1964, by some counts. Many residents want to keep it where it's at. Owner Ray Bonkowski wants to sell it–and American Pickers is looking to swoop it up.
Now in its third season on the History Channel, American Pickers follows hosts Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz as they traverse America, knocking on doors and digging through basements and barns to find antiques and other treasures. The series takes the team through triumphant finds and unfortunate digs as they try to sort through junk to find jewels–and purchase them from their owners.
Aside from the sign, the rest of the Michigan Pickers trip is up in the air–and Eggleston said the team is willing to travel wherever the promise of antiques and collectibles takes them, though they plan to spend most of their time in southeast Michigan.
"Travel-wise, we like to keep everything as close as possible, but we have no problem going to the Upper Peninsula, anywhere above the Thumb, anywhere under it," he explained. "We just want to find the best characters with the most unique and different and large collections."
However, Eggleston said, "We'd love to find three or four picks near the (Ypsi-Arbor Lanes) sign, if we could."
The list of desirable items is long and includes vintage pinball machines, old toys, concert memorabilia, vintage holiday items, bicycles and police and firefighter memorabilia.
Also, added Eggleston, "We are looking for large collections of motorcycles above all else in the Detroit area. Of course we’d love to hear from anyone with any type of large unique collection, but especially motorcycles in the Detroit area."
Think you have some stuff worth picking through? Contact American Pickers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 646-873-6257.