WICHITA — Old Town Architectural Salvage was supposed to be closed on the Fourth of July, but an employee told owner Grant Rine he had some work to do and wondered if he wanted him to open the shop.
Fortunately for Rine, he said yes and was then delighted to find out that Frank Fritz of "American Pickers" fame stopped in to the store near First and St. Francis.
Rine says Fritz was "just out bumming around" while in the area shooting potential episodes with fellow picker Mike Wolfe.
"He had left before I could even think about coming down to visit."
Rine, who watches the show, would have liked to have met Fritz. He says he sometimes finds himself "drooling" on what Fritz and Wolfe choose not to buy as they travel the back roads of America looking for antiques to score a deal on and resell.
"I get irritated when they pass stuff up that I think would make them more money."
Rine wonders if there's not more to the buys than what the show lets viewers see.
"I figure they probably go back and buy half that stuff afterwards."
He also wonders at the people whose doors the men knock on since so many of them act like they've never heard of Fritz or Wolfe or the show.
"Well, these guys are American institutions by now," Rine says. "There's hardly anybody who doesn't know Mike and Frank by now."