After a half century of collecting very valuable antiques, a Jefferson County man says it's hard to part with any of them. But when a popular TV show wanted to not only feature his collection, but buy some things as well, David Pietroski gave it a shot. As our Brian Dwyer reports, he was very happy he did.
JEFFERSON COUNTY, N.Y. – “American Pickers” is a big hit for the History Channel. It follows two men, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, as they travel the country looking for unique antique collections. Monday night's episode featured Jefferson County collector David Pietroski.
"When we were watching it, we were laughing like crazy," Pietroski said. "Our phone was going off, people were texting us all kinds of messages. It was quite an ordeal."
Pietroski has been collecting for more than 50 years. As you can guess, it's never easy for him to get rid of something. But in all, he sold the guys 15 things, including an old 1904 fire call box from the City of Watertown Fire Department.
"A lot of stuff came from Watertown," He said. "I really think with that show, we put Watertown, New York on the map."
It was back in August when Wolfe, Fritz and the crew spent 12 hours at Pietroski's property going though the collection and also taping the search and conducting interviews.
"I think they did a great job showing David's unique eye that he has for when he goes to a sale or something, to where he can really spot something unique and get it," said Pietroski's wife, Frances, who was also involved with being on the show.
And the theme to the entire segment, adding to that antique experience, Pietroski's farmhouse is thought to be haunted. After their visit in August, the guys from “Pickers” probably wouldn't argue.
"There was some noise, that one upstairs with that Pabst Blue Ribbon thing," Pietroski said. "There was like a crash or something that came out of the attic. I don't know where that came from because there was nobody back there."
Asked if he had any regrets, Pietroski said only one, firing off an apparently low $225 asking price for an old Watertown movie theatre sign. Wolfe accepted immediately.
"It's almost when I started saying that out of my mouth, it was slow-motion, like ‘Oh, no!’ I would have liked to have just put it back in and not say a word," He said of that moment.
The show never did show how much it was actually worth, but it's believed to be at least six or seven times that.
At the end of the episode, it was shown that the old fire call box didn't have the alarm system inside. Pietroski says he's since found it and may use it as a bargaining chip to get the show back sometime.