Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

SOUTHERN LIGHTS: How Would Davy Crockett Items Fare on 'Antiques Roadshow'?

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

SOUTHERN LIGHTS: How Would Davy Crockett Items Fare on 'Antiques Roadshow'?

Article excerpt

My wife and I have a habit of watching Public Television's "Antiques Roadshow" on Monday evenings.

She oohs and aahs over the treasures that the show regularly displays. The values seldom cease to amaze me.

How an ugly vase -- to my eyes, at least -- that someone bought for $20 at a yard sale 30 years ago could now be worth $40,000 is beyond my comprehension. No longer is it a vase, either -- it's a vaaaas, in the words of the "Roadshow" evaluator.

The owner, told its real value, promises it won't be part of the window sill junk anymore.

That amateurish-looking painting that came out of a flea market 20 years ago for $10 -- it's worth $70,000 now (for insurance purposes). That necklace that Auntie Kate left you that you always thought was costume jewelry? Those are real diamonds, honey, and the piece would bring half a million dollars in a well-advertised auction.

So the evaluator says.

Stuff like that interests me. So do the rare show vignettes when someone has paid $600 for an item that turns out to be a worthless fake.

So when it was announced that the "Roadshow" is coming to Birmingham this summer, I immediately put my hat in the ring for tickets. The show is so popular that it has to have a drawing to see who goes.

I've been looking forward to an announcement of the winners -- but then I realized that I don't have anything to take even if I do get tickets.

I mean, we have some old chairs, family heirlooms, but they weren't made in pre-Revolutionary War Virginia, like the evaluators love.

I've got a cigar pouch that my grandfather or somebody got at the 1904 World's Fair, but it isn't the kind of thing they like to see.

We have some old books, but none are first editions of Mark Twain, signed by the author, with a photo of Mr. Clemens with great- aunt Saree.

I might take a couple of old pottery whiskey jugs if I win, but I'm afraid that any airtime that would be awarded us would be at the end of the program, where people pose with goods they hoped were treasures, only to have them rated as junk by the "Roadshow" evaluators.

Some of them make up little rhymes to ease their sorrow:

We had high hopes

For these old jugs

But now we'll put them

Back with the bugs

What I wish that I could take to the "Roadshow" is my old Davy Crockett stuff. Unfortunately, it has long since disappeared.

I had a Davy Crockett play rifle, a Davy Crockett rubber knife, an old Vu-Master with Davy Crockett slides and -- best of all -- a Davy Crockett coonskin cap.

It wasn't real coonskin, of course, and it was just like the Davy Crockett caps that thousands of other youngsters my age wore all over America -- but still. You don't see the Davy Crockett stuff anywhere any more. It was all junked long ago.

I bet if I had all of my stuff as a group -- and there were no serious condition issues, as the "Roadshow" evaluators like to say - - it would be enough to earn me a segment on the TV program. …

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