Clyde helps make a young picker’s wish come true

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 15, 2015

By Mark Wineka

SALISBURY — Everybody wants to know: When will Clyde’s episode on The History Channel’s popular “American Pickers” show air?

“I have no idea,” says Clyde, a well-known artist/picker/collector himself. “People drive me crazy.”

But something happened during the long hours of filming last October that made it all worthwhile for Clyde, besides the $1,200 he made in sales to the show’s hosts, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz.

He helped in making a dream come true for 16-year-old Will Grossman of Lincoln, Neb., who has been fighting anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Grossman’s request to the Make-A-Wish Foundation was to participate in a pick with Wolfe and Fritz.

It just happened set things up for Grossman when Wolfe and Fritz were hanging out with Clyde.

“It just tore me up,” Clyde said Friday. “…He had the best time … It is phenomenal, and they paid for everything he bought.”

Clyde said a Make-A-Wish limousine delivered Will and his family to his properties on East Bank Street the day “American Pickers” was filming. “I said, ‘You go anywhere you want,'” Clyde recalled.

A five-minute video showing Will’s pick at Clyde’s of an old train set, including an engine and three cars, has been published to YouTube, and it has collected close to 7,000 views. The video is done exactly in the style of American Pickers and pretty much portrays Clyde as a tough negotiator.

“When you have a tough seller like this,” Fritz says to the camera at one point, “you need to play it cool.”

At another point, before Will begins his dickering on price with Clyde, Wolfe informs the young man that negotiating with a Southerner is tough. They are a proud people, he explains, and their prices are proud, too.

Clyde put his asking price for the 1920s or 1930s vintage train at $500 for the four pieces. He also said in an aside to the camera that you should always start high, in case the buyer accepts that price.

Will countered with a $250 offer. Clyde came back with $325. Will went up to $275, and Clyde dropped to $300.

“Clyde is coming down on Will like a ton of bricks,” Wolfe said to the camera.

Wolfe later stepped in and suggested $295, which both Clyde and Will accepted, leading to a handshake that sealed the deal.

“Will manned up and stood toe-to-toe with a tough seller,” Fritz said.

Clyde said he doesn’t think this separate Make-A-Wish story will be part of his “American Pickers’ episode.

“That was wild — a limousine pulling up,” he said.

Clyde added he doesn’t remember where he bought the toy engine and rail cars Will bought or what he paid for them. He just had them in his kitchen because they were red and green and matched the decor.

To find Clyde and the Make-A-Wish video on YouTube, search for the title, ‘William’s wish to meet the American Pickers.”

Someone told Clyde about the YouTube video, and he viewed it Friday morning. “That’s heartwarming and a good story,” said Clyde, who to this day has never watched the “American Pickers” show.

But people keep asking him when he will be on television. He sends some of them to Greg Culp at Hap’s Grill, knowing Culp doesn’t know, either. And folks at Rowan History Club meetings want to know, “Clyde when are you going to be on ‘Pickers?'” he said.

“I don’t know.”

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.