'American Pickers' stops in Pittsylvania County - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

'American Pickers' stops in Pittsylvania County

By John Crane

CHATHAM — Henry Burnett loves collecting old items and bartering.

“I’ve collected since I was old enough to drive,” Burnett said during an interview Thursday evening at his property off Beverly Heights Road in Chatham.

Burnett had the experience of a lifetime when cast and crew members from the History Channel show “American Pickers” visited the area this week. They searched garages, sheds and trailers along the back roads of Pittsylvania County to buy antiques, odds and ends and other pieces of Americana.

“American Pickers” crew and cast members Mike Wolfe and Danielle Colby Cushman spent Wednesday at Gary Parrish’s Mount Hermon area business, Parrish’s Paint & Body Shop, and his other property in Chatham before heading to Burnett’s place Thursday.

The show features Wolfe and Frank Fritz “on a mission to recycle America,” according to the television show’s web page at History.com. American Pickers “follows them as they scour the country for hidden gems in junkyards, basements, garages and barns, meeting quirky characters and hearing their amazing stories,” according to the show’s web page.

The show airs on Monday evenings.

The Danville Register & Bee tried to visit “American Pickers” while cast and crew were at Burnett’s property Thursday, but representatives would not allow media access. An attempt to contact Wolfe’s spokeswoman via telephone was unsuccessful.

Parrish, 66, said the “American Pickers” cast and crew were “extraordinarily nice” and that he was amazed they picked him to visit.

“Once I shook hands, I felt like I knew them my whole life,” Parrish said during an interview at his business Thursday.

“American Pickers” contacted Parrish about a month ago after his wife Betty emailed the show in February. They sent scouts to his garage shortly thereafter, Parrish said.

“I’ve just always liked old stuff,” said Parrish, who has vintage vehicles including an old state police car — a 1959 Ford — and a 1957 Studebaker Silverhawk.

The pickers, who also scoured his property in Chatham, bought three or four items from Parrish, including an old gas pump and an old jukebox. They expressed interest in his 1962 Ford Fairlane 500.

“It’s a day I won’t ever forget,” he said of Wednesday’s experience. Parrish said the episode will run in three of four months.

Burnett, 68, has been collecting antiques including old cars and auto parts, signs, oils cans and other goods. He keeps his aged collection in a garage and four trailers. He has at least 20 old automobiles lining his property, including two Chevrolet Corvairs, Ford Thunderbirds — two 1958s and a 1960 — and a 1938 Cadillac.

“I was just tickled to death they (American Pickers) would come out here to see what I got,” Burnett said at his property off Beverly Heights Road Thursday evening.

Burnett would not reveal what he sold to “American Pickers.” They told him not to tell what they bought from him, Burnett said. However, the cast and crew “were just super nice,” he said.

“It was totally fun,” Burnett said of their visit. “They were the nicest people you ever want to meet.”

Burnett said the episode will run in the fall.

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