Back before Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz became the faces of American Pickers, they were just two friends with a love for collectibles. At the time, Fritz had a full-time job while Wolfe was a full-time picker, so they had to find a time that worked for them both to indulge in their passion.
So, on the weekends when Wolfe was in town, the two loaded up into their van and drove until the asphalt turned to gravel and dirt. And over time, that passion became a shared career for the two friends who cruised the backroads all over the country looking for unique, vintage items. For many, Wolfe and Fritz’s picking origins are an inspiring story that encourages their viewers to always find time for their hobbies.
Back in the show’s third season, Wolfe explained how those weekend adventures turned into what we now know as American Pickers. During a book signing, Wolfe shared that he and his longtime friend Fritz were located in the perfect midpoint of the Mid-West. From their home in Iowa, they could reach several of their neighboring states in just a couple of hours. That gave them a wide range of picking opportunities and plenty of neighborhoods to explore. So, when Wolfe was back at home, itching for a local pick, he grabbed his best buddy and hit the road.
“If I was at home for three or four days, I would be like ‘Frankie, let’s hit the road man,’ and we’d take off. We would just pick gravel roads.”
Eventually, when the History channel bought into American Pickers, Fritz would quit his nine-to-five job and join Wolfe as the co-host of the series. Now the two have their own antique stores and have become full invested in their collecting careers.
‘American Pickers’ Star Admitted His Weekend Trips Had No Real Destination
During his American Pickers adventures, Wolfe doesn’t do too much research before hitting the road. Sometimes, he’ll get a tip about a location with some promising antiques, but for the most part, he just drives until something catches his eye.
Similarly, back before the show, the American Pickers hosts didn’t have any real direction in mind when they embarked on another road trip. Instead, they would drive until the sun started to set and then take whatever exit that called to them. Then they’d chose a turn-off at random and search for those quaint little neighborhoods that he just knew had tons of history to share.
Somehow, like a sixth sense, the two stars always found some sort of hidden treasure to bring back home. And, just as important, they learned something new about American history and the people behind the antiques.