What is it?
What's it worth?
Have you seen the number of shows that follow a similar theme to American Picker? They are meant to be, I'm guessing, the next step beyond (or down from) Antiques Roadshow.
People hit the road to track down a barn full of junk that just may have something of value buried within, or they bid on packed storage sheds in the hopes that they are filled with precious, resale-able stuff.
That's a big part of what Mike did for a living although they didn't make a TV show about his working life. Back then, lots of folks would have called him a junk dealer. He and his partner had a motorcycle shop that repaired, restored, and sold antique American made motorcycles. Probably the bulk of the business was selling parts to anyone who was looking to restore their own vintage bike. That meant hunting down those parts to have on hand.
It's not that glamorous. I can remember spending an entire day sitting outside a barn so packed with stuff--telephones, typewriters, appliances large and small, car parts, motorcycles, sports equipment, on and on--
while Mike and a friend literally crawled through it. Then the guy was hesitant to sell them what they had pulled out--they maybe ended up with a third of it.
In the process of stocking the shop shelves, Mike also was able to build up a considerable personal collection of motorcycle memorabilia. He always called it his retirement fund. And that is what it turned out to be.
He sold his half of the business to his former partner and invested that money in the stock market. Let's just say, "Thank God" for that personal collection and e-Bay. And once in a while he still finds things and scores.
Actually, I would have liked to keep this piece for a while. We have a small grouping of pen and ink sets decorating our computer desk at home. This would have looked nice among them, but we have a winter place to furnish. It's worth what someone is willing to pay...and I can't afford it.
Have to say, though...junk collecting has been very, very good to us.