At 6 o’clock Friday morning, Jackie Dodson and her mother Diane Hevell woke up to get an early start on their regular weekend yard-sale rounds.
On top of their full-time jobs, the pair — who’ve dubbed themselves the “Northside Pickers” — have made a hobby out of traveling around the area to yard sales, antique shops and Goodwill stores, all in search of hidden treasures.
Their passion for picking made it all that more exciting when they spotted a familiar van — white with “Antique Archeology” written in black and red on the side — while driving up South Centre Street.
“I said, ‘Mom, we’ve got to stop, I think that’s the American Pickers!’ She was like, ‘No way,’ but I made her pull over,“ Dodson said. “And sure enough, it was them.”
Mike Wolfe, Danielle Colby Cushman and the crew had made a stop in Philipsburg on their way from Harrisburg to film an episode of the History Channel’s hit antiquing show before heading out west.
The documentary series, which stars Wolfe, Colby Cushman and Frank Fritz on a mission to “recycle America,” announced in June that it would be returning to Pennsylvania to look for leads throughout the region and “interesting characters with interesting items.”
Unit production manager Cody Holland didn’t want to give away too much information about the “American Pickers” episode, but said it’s expected to air in three to four months.
“We come to this area about once a year and we love it. There’s a lot of history,” he said. “We love picking up here.”
Word that “the Pickers,” as they are affectionately called, were in the area spread quickly, bringing quite the crowd to South Centre Street and eliciting excitement on social media.
“Excuse my language but holy (expletive)!!! It’s Mike and Frank from American pickers (sic)!!!” Dodson posted on her Facebook page along with a photo of a waving Wolfe in front of the “Antique Archeology”-branded van.
“My porch has awesome entertainment today,” Mary Slogosky added on her Facebook page.
Denae Vigilante, of Philipsburg, and her 7-year-old son, Stephen, stopped by in hopes of capturing a photo of the van. But as they stood there, talking with a friend, they got more than they had expected.
Wolfe and Colby Cushman were walking out of the house and toward the garage in the back when Vigilante said Colby Cushman grabbed Wolfe’s arm and pointed at Stephen.
The two television personalities walked over to talk to Stephen and ask if he wanted to take a photo with them. As his birthday was just Thursday, his mom said it made for a fantastic gift.
“We got to talk to them a little bit, and I told them how we’re such big fans and how nice it was to meet them,” Vigilante said. “They were so sweet.”
Dodson and Hevell returned to the set several times to take photos and talk to the production crew.
“We don’t want to scare them away, but this just doesn’t happen here,” Dodson said.
“This is fantastic. We watch them on TV, and here they are!” Hevell added.