Saturday was the day our all girl group, The Daytrippers, was scheduled to go visit LeClaire Iowa, home of American Pickers. By the time the day arrived there were just the two of us able to go, Val and myself. No problem. We were excited to see what we could see. I had tried calling Danielle beforehand using the number on the website but I guess lots of folks have tried that tactic as her mailbox was too full to receive even one more message. So we were just going to wing it. If she was there great, if Mike and Frank were there, wow, great as well. If no one was there, well, we would just stalk the building (if you can stalk a building that is).
LeClaire is a delightful little town on the Mississippi. I mean on the Mississippi. They have an annual tug of war with the town across from them (Port Byron) across the river. I have never seen it but we have put it down for a possible trip in the future to attend. There are lots of little shops…from the wonderfully eclectic to the artsy ones to antiquey treasures. Val and I stopped in several of the shops and got some background info (hoping for dirt, but no one was sharing that if there was any, drat!). The shopkeepers and Mike and Frank are planning a kind of Meet and Greet venture towards the end of June if Mike and Frank’s schedule works with it. They are apparently working 2 weeks with the History Channel then off 2 weeks to come back home. They have been signed up for 26 more episodes. Two of the nicest shopkeepers (I am so bad with names, so sorry!) who own Aunt Hattie’s were really gracious about talking about them. They said that Mike was a down to earth guy, walks around town with his dog. Danielle is a great gal and out with her dog as well as two children and was just a regular kind of gal. Super friendly. Good, we thought, hoping that she would be in. The shop opens at high noon so we headed off to find it.
To find Antique Archaeology, well, it is kind of like turn left at the corner where the old barn burnt down 3 years ago… It’s physical address is 115 ½ if that gives you any indication of its location. It is behind the BP gas station in town (for some reason, I thought it was going to be in the country and need a GPS to find it or an old farmer giving us directions. But no. It was right off the main drag in an alley). Danielle’s backyard. Literally. So after finding the dirt trail alley, we slid right down to it. Funny thing when you see it, you also see this sign that says No Trespassing..Private Property and you aren’t sure if you can park (or where) and get out to visit or what. So after some hemming, we decided we came all this way and we would risk having the car towed. We parked (there were about 3 other cars there also) and over we went to the door. We walked in to a small area where there are several of their treasures for sale along with T-shirts saying Antique Archaeology. We could hear laughter and banter coming from the larger “garage” type room so we headed there. And there was Danielle. In person. Being friendly and real. She was chatting with some other folks who had stopped by to see the place and were fans as well. One of the gentlemen was commenting on how he was now addicted to Monday nights with American Pickers and Pawn Stars. Val agreed heartily. So true. He was saying that the cool thing was that both shows featured regular old guys and real people. None of this overdone plasticized beauties. Just real people which is such the draw for all of us.
Danielle looks great. Even though I had heard that television adds on about 10 pounds to a person, she still looked alot thinner than on the show. Dressed so hip in tall boots and a skirt. Had some more tattooes. I didn’t want to stare, but there were letters on her knuckles and I wasn’t sure what it said. HOLD? Not sure. She was so approachable and friendly. Had a wonderful sense of humor. Joked about the guys. Someone asked her about that car that Frank bought, did he ever sell it. She said that she didn’t really keep up on Frank’s stuff. That she worked for Mike. Frank stores some things there at the store but not all. Hmmmm. I just thought they were a business partnership as well as being on the show searching for stuff. I guess not. She did say that she was glad they weren’t doing as much EBay anymore…it was a pain to do. Ha.
Found out that she has two children that she adores. Apparently Mike wanted her to be at the shop from 9 – 4 but she said no way. She was more of a noon – 4 person and it cut into her time with her kids. Mike felt it was important for her to be there, kind of the ambassador of American Pickers.
Her backyard is literally where the shop is located. It is basically at the bottom of the hill behind her house, I guess. Let’s see. Oh, and in kind of a cool Miracle on 34th Street moment, she recommended to another couple who were out and about searching for antiques to try the Antique Mall in Coal Valley. Val and I mentally noted that for another one of our Daytripper excursions. I really think the History Channel is missing the boat not highlighting Danielle more. She is interesting, quick to wit and laughs alot. She seemed like she could be your best bud.
Well, sadly the time came for us to leave. We got one of the other visitors there to take a photos of us and Danielle had told us we could take whatever pics we wanted. We hugged, said our good-byes and decided we had to come back again to LeClaire.