American Pickers has become a hit TV show, following on the heels of Pawn Stars. These shows aren’t as bad as they sound conceptually. In fact, you learn a lot about history as you see the stuff people bring into the pawn shop. Sort of like an Antiques Road Show without the British accents.

I’m not sure if the word “pickers” is the traditional American usage for the guys who scour the landscape looking for antiques and collectibles. But in Canada, they’re known by their more accurate, IMHO, name: Skinners….as in skin you alive!

Our home is a 1912 Arts & Crafts architectural design, and therefore the occasional target of professional skinners looking for potential treasures buried in the basement. But frankly, they’re always looking to get the stuff for nothing; unlikely the very congenial gentlemen on the TV show, who appear to pay a fair price, if not the asking price of the owner.