Man, I’m thankful for Pickers

You know what a Picker is? You Ol’ Timers do, but I can guarantee most of the young bucks don’t. I’d never heard of a Picker until recently.

First, I want to officially go on record in saying, I’m thankful for the pickers. They’re scattered all across our fruited plain. Their job- scurry through the yard sales looking for “things” of value to resale. Usually they broker to dealers, but now with the web, they can sell directly to collectors too.

This important occupation hasn’t always been looked upon favorably. In fact, here’ a definition straight from Zen in the Art of Yardselling

PickersA term that the yardsale community commonly uses to refer to [unscrupulous] people who turn a profit from reselling yardsale-bought goods. Pros resent being classified as pickers seeing as how it puts them in the same category as lawn gypsies.

You know me I’m all for capitalism. I’m glad someone is up at the crack of dawn sifting through boxes of junk. So what they make a dollar…..or thousands when they score a find.

Pickers have now even been elevated in stature- there’s a TV Show promoting this worthwhile activity called American Pickers.

Why are pickers on my mind today? Cause I’m the proud benefactor of a picker’s discovery.

Recently a gentleman in California contacted me. He is a friend of this particular picker- my hero- who had found a big old odd knife. The friend was helping research the knife and they found my Elephant Toenails website.

The friend wanted me to help give “some details” about it, as well as wanting to know if I’d be interested. Long story short, it was an elephant toenail, as you probably guessed. But it wasn’t just the run of the mill old toenail, instead it was of the Jumbo Swellcenter variety- my favorite.

Now my appreciation for this under-appreciated occupation is at an all-time high. Had this gentleman not recognized my knife as potentially having significance (to me anyway), it easily could have ended up being purchased for what it was originally intended- a hard-core work knife- thrown in a toolbox never to be seen again.

I know you knife collectors are nodding with me on this. I can hear your “Amen” all the way down here in the Heart of Dixie.

Now allow me to introduce my sentimental favorite Jumbo Swellcenter- the fruit of a picker’s labor:

Jumbo Swellcenter- C. Platts' Sons Cutlery Company of Eldred, Pa. 1900- 1905

Oh, I forgot to tell you the kicker- the Picker only paid $14.00 for it.

Kinda makes you want to pick a little, now doesn’t it?