Mike Wolfe didn’t just land a part on American Pickers. He had been picking for years before he started recording anything. Then, he started telling his friends about his adventures on the road. They were so entertained by his yarns that they urged him to buy a camera and start recording his outings. Pretty soon, Wolfe had a vlog. He would record his picks and talk to the dash-mounted camera while he traveled. Not long after that, he started working on selling what would later become American Pickers.
Today, Mike Wolfe makes a living from picking. Many fans know him as the star of American Pickers. He also owns two antique shops as well as some vacation rental properties. Those properties are decorated with items that he and Frank Fritz picked up over the years. So, that leaves some people wondering just how long Mike has been digging for rusty gold.
Mike Wolfe opened up about the pick that changed his life in a 2014 interview with Sidewalks.
The Pick That Started It All for Mike Wolfe
Sidewalks’ Cindy Rhodes wanted to know, “How did your interest in antiques come about and how did it lead you to where you are today?”
First, Frank Fritz said that he and Mike both collected from an early age. It turns out that Fritz has always been a fan of the “smalls.” He collected things like beer cans, stamps, coins, and razor blades in his youth.
Mike Wolfe, however, can pinpoint the moment that he started picking and collecting. “I started collecting when I was four years old. I was walking to kindergarten and it was one of those big garage sale trash days. You know, where everybody throws everything out on the curb. I saw an old bicycle and I wanted it. So, I didn’t go to school that day.”
Instead of going to school, Mike Wolfe said that he spent the rest of the day picking through garbage piles. Then, he got busted. “My mom got a call from the school wanting to know where I was,” Wolfe recalled. However, his mom had a much calmer reaction than most parents. Of course, she was a little upset, but she got over it rather quickly. After she calmed down, she told the budding picker, “If you’re going to be bringing all of this stuff home, I won’t park my car in the garage anymore. I’ll keep the garage for you.”
So, at four years old, Mike Wolfe had a brand new hobby and a place to store all of his finds.
As of right now, Mike Wolfe is 57 years old. So, that means he has been picking for roughly 53 years. At the same time, this story explains Wolfe’s love of both motorcycles and bicycles.