"The First American Picker"
In previous posts I have mentioned that I met a new friend, Dale Gorder. The handsome young man is in the photo above. As you can see Dale is an antique "picker". No he did not take the name from the History Channels popular show" American Pickers". Dale began "picking" well before Mike and Frank ever came onto the scene. In fact Dale claims that Mike and Frank were still poopin' their pants when he first started picking antiques. Dale chose the name "First American Pickers" because he specializes in and has extensive knowledge of Native American jewelry, blankets, and pottery. I first met Dale at the Indoor Flea Market, here in Albuquerque, where he has a booth. Dale and I kinda hit it off when we first met. It may have been because we are of similar age, have similar interests, have hairy faces, have the same initials (DG) or perhaps we are just two old, fat, white men made of the same mold. When Dale called me the other day and asked if I wanted to go to Gallup, New Mexico with him I was rarin' to go.
Gallup, New Mexico is about a 2 1/2 to three hour drive west of Albuquerque on highway 40. This highway will eventually lead you into Phoenix, Arizona. The topography is volcanic desert covered with sage brush, prairie grass and juniper trees. There are high plateaus and red rock formations along the way.
This area of New Mexico has a large Native American population that includes many talented jewelry makers and artisans. This area provides Dale with a good source of turquoise jewelry, antique jewelry, other antiques, and vintage items that he sells on the Internet and in his booth.
Our first stop was in Milan, New Mexico to see Sharon and Richard owners and operators of Frontier Trading Post.
Sharon and Richard specialize in local Native American jewelry, blankets, crafts and craft related supplies. They have been doing business in Milan for over 20 years. Dale started buying from Frontier Pawn when Sharon's dad first opened the business. Sharon and Richard are easy goin', gracious, and lookin' to do some business. If you are swingin' through Milan stop by and tell 'em howdy. Sharon and Richard have been in the business for a long time and are looking to sell and move on to greener pastures. Any readers out there that are looking for a viable business and they want to live a simpler life contact them. I am sure that they would love to talk to you. Of course with any small business person "money talks and the bovine byproducts walk." Dale made some select purchases and we headed out the door on our way to Gallup. It was a pleasure meeting Sharon and Richard and I hope that I have the opportunity to meet them again. Happy Trails to Sharon and Richard.
Dale and I arrive in Gallup about noon. Of course for two old fat white men noon means lunch. So we venture on over to Don Diego's. A well known traditional Mexican restaurant in downtown Gallup. If you ever are traveling through Gallup stop by Don Diego's and give it a try. Tell 'em I sent you, give them $10.00 and you can have most anything you want on their menu. One reason Dale wanted to go to Gallup is that he had an appointment with an individual that had some "stuff" that he wanted to sell. Gallup is also a good source of Native jewelry for Dale. While we were at the restaurant Dale gave his client a call and invited him to have a little lunch with us. One thing that I enjoy when I venture out from the confines of my abode is getting the chance to meet interesting people or if you wish "characters". I got that opportunity when I met Dale's client. Jack Tixer (pronounced Touche) was every bit the character that I am referring to. I don't have a problem creating conversation with strangers and since Jack was having lunch with us I took the opportunity to find out what his story was. Jack informed me that he is a "street lawyer". Now I have heard a lot of words preceding "lawyer" but it has never been "street". Jack had knowledge of how the "system" works and helps those that can't help themselves maneuver through that system. At no charge of course. Jack made lunch conversation interesting and when we were though we all ventured out to Jack's place to look at the "stuff" that her had.
As we found out Jack had a lot of "stuff" but not a whole lot that Dale or I were interested in. If you are an old car buff or restorer Jack had a ton of old car parts. But Jack was an interesting guy. Come to find out Jack claims to have been "abducted" by aliens. Not the illegal aliens but UFO type aliens. This is New Mexico ya know. I asked Jack if he had been "probed" and he confirmed that he had.
Jacks 160 MPH bus.
I could not end my story about Jack Tixer (pronounced Touche) without telling you about his bus. I forgot to ask him what year the bus is but you can see he has altered the front end, added a big honkin' diesel engine and chopped ten inches from the top of the bus. Jack plans to take this bus to the Bonneville Salt Flats and set a speed record (for a bus) of 160 mph. Jack is a kind and interesting gentleman. I hope that I have the opportunity to meet Jack again. Dale purchased a handful of items. We loaded up, scrapped the mud from our shoes and ventured on to our next adventure.
Our next stop was to visit Kathy at her recently opened "Hidden Treasures & More" store. Kathy and her crew were very friendly Gallup folk. Dale and I "rooted" around in that store for over an hour. Dale was buyin' up a storm. I found this really cool clock.
I have this clock listed in my eBay Store AnuDirection. The clock is from the 1960's and still works. From my research Westco was and still is a bakery products distributor. Westco is now a part of BakeMark Corp.
Another great item that I was able to snag before Dale found it was this great Canada Dry Spur Cola metal sign. This sign and many more interesting items are listed in my eBay Store AnuDirection. Spur cola, which I had never heard of, was distributed by Canada Dry back in the 1950's. The sign would make a fine addition to any one's soda sign collection.
We left Kathy and ventured on over to Northside New & Used "stuff" store. Dale was able to discover a few items of interest. We then left for greener pastures well in the case of Gallup other pastures because there is not a whole lot of green anywhere in this part of New Mexico.
Dale wanted to stop at some pawn shops that he had discovered in previous trips. Unfortunately the batteries in my camera had ran out so I can't provide you pictorial evidence of this portion of our trip. We stopped a a local feed store that had a pawn section. Yes, you read it right a farm feed and seed store with a pawn section. The current economic times that we live in today have forced small businesses to diversify in order to keep their doors open. We finished at the feed store and drove over to "Ted's Pawn and Chain Saw Repair" store (see what I mean about diversification).
We left Ted's and went to "Andy's Pawn>" This is where I was disappointed that my camera was not working. Andy's (Andy is no longer running the business but his son Bill is) is a well represented, professional, and intriguing pawn store. Dale and I were there for a couple of hours. Dale was able to find a treasure trove of the type of jewelry that he hunts for.
The interesting part was when it came to negotiating the final price. Between Bill and Dale if bull shit was worth anything they both would be billionaires. The rhetoric was flying , the bantering was intense, and dollar bills were flowing. It was the irresistible force against the immovable object for a time. But in the end Dale wanted a good deal and Bill wanted Dale's money. Like two sane businessmen they reached a price that everybody was happy with. Besides that we were well passed closing time and Bill's crew was ready to go home.
We left Andy's and started the three hour drive back to Albuquerque. I had a thoroughly enjoyable time. The one thing for me is getting out and meeting different and interesting people. Everybody has a story. Of course I like to find cool stuff also. I am looking forward to Dale and Duane's next adventure. Next time I will take additional batteries for my camera.
Until Next Time