Monday, June 23, 2014

The Antiques Roadshow Arrives In Birmingham!

It's not often that something happens that I really don't want to attend when it involves antiques. I usually jump at the chance! However, when we were asked if we wanted to attend the Black Tie Event party on friday night before the Antiques Roadshow taping in Birmingham on Saturday we really didn't feel led to do so! In fact, we thought we were going to be at the beach. 
Well, those plans fell through and the next thing I knew the editor of Birmingham Home and Garden Magazine, Cathy McGowin was calling and offering me her press pass to attend the actual event on Saturday in her place. Hmmm…this was too good to pass up and had me really excited!

The next thing I knew we were also going to attend the event that Friday night at the Alabama Theatre! Our invitation came in these lovely mint julep cups! Now I was really excited again!

The historic Alabama Theatre is so beautiful and such a part of our history in Birmingham. 
I knew the event would be spectacular!

And spectacular it was! We were not disappointed in the least!

It was a wonderful turnout and just looking around at the ornate designs inside had me in awe! 
And I've seen it several times before…but it never gets old!

My only regret is that I only took my phone in and not my good camera. So bear with me on these next few pictures! Atleast you can get a feel for the show and the beauty of the theatre.

Alabama Public Television hosted the show and they did an excellent job! As did the Antiques Roadshow Show Producer, Marsha Bemko and the executives from Cadence Bank. The host of the Antiques Roadshow, Mark Walberg made a brief appearance and did an excellent job! He literally ran in, gave his speech and ran out because they were also taping at the Civil Rights Museum. 
The Roadshow crew could not say enough incredible things about that museum. 
I'm definitely looking forward to seeing that when it airs!

While listening to each one talk I was truly almost in tears several times. I kept wondering, "Am I the only one inside this historic building that is about to cry?" I was once again reminded of why I got into the antiques business to begin with. Sure, there are many times I want to quit! When it is so slow in the summer…when your "stuff" doesn't seem to be selling, etc…However, my heart was stirred and my soul was touched with the words they each echoed. I thought to myself, this is me…it's who I've always been and antiques are what I've always loved.

And I know this may sound corny…but when that organist began to play on "The Mighty Wurlitzer" I almost lost it! It's pretty cool when it rises up from beneath the stage and then you find out the history behind the organ. Did you know it is one of only three Wurlitzer's left in it's original spot? And it's right here in our wonderful city of Birmingham, Alabama!

It was a wonderful night all the way around! I have to say a HUGE Thank You to Cadence Bank! I had no idea that they were only giving away two door prizes and one was a gift certificate to my shop,Mulberry Heights Antiques . The other was to Barton Clay Jewelers. The plug they gave for our shop was totally a shock to me and needless to say I was extremely grateful and humbled!

The food was catered by B&A Wharehouse and was delicious as were the "baby bites" that were catered by Pastry Art.

So then began our journey on Saturday for the actual Antiques Roadshow! To say I was a little nervous is an understatement! I certainly didn't want to let Cathy or Birmingham Home and Garden Magazine down! I put on my big girl shoes and headed right in!

This is just a sampling of what we saw as we walked towards the Civic Center where it was being held. I so wish I'd taken pictures of the people bringing in large Secretaries, sets of dining chairs…you name it! I don't know how some of them managed to pull it off but they did! I must give credit to for this photo and a few others. We actually were standing there at this point but their picture was much better than mine as you can imagine!

There were plenty of signs to lead the way as we made our way in to get our press passes, etc.

Once inside we were escorted by a volunteer worker as well as a member of the Roadshow Media Staff. They are strict on their photography rules and rightfully so but so very generous in allowing us to do as much as possible as part of the Birmingham press. We became fast friends with our escorts and they made our job much easier!

The lines had began forming early that morning and would continue to grow throughout the day!

It was all very organized!

As part of the media/press we were escorted to the front of every line! 
Yes, it was a little embarrassing but such a great perk!

There was a line for everything under the sun! I actually took 3 different items to be appraised and I'm so glad I did! It was at the suggestion of the Roadshow staff and they were so right! 
It definitely enhanced my own Roadshow experience!

They were actually filming the whole time people were milling around and waiting in line…there is so much to take in that if one did have to wait in long lines I'm sure they were entertained by many things they saw!

At the insistence of Kate…a Roadshow staff member I got my picture made with Birmingham native Stuart Whitehurst. He was such a nice guy…and he was actually the one that appraised my only item that was worth much! He loved this box below that once belonged to Jim's grandmother and gave us a lot of history behind it! One interesting fact was that it was made in Birmingham, England which Stuart thought was sort of ironic!

The other items I took didn't fare so well…however, it made me realize that I do know more than I give myself credit for when it comes to recognizing a true antique and I think I will feel a little more knowledgeable when people ask for my opinion in my shop. Each appraiser genuinely cared and definitely was an expert in his or her field! 

All in all, it was an amazing experience and one I will never forget!

Just to actually be able to watch the behind the scenes stuff that goes on was fascinating. 

We got to see this lady with her antique clock being filmed for the actual show when it airs in 2015.

I cannot tell you how much I fell in love with the furniture area! I saw some of the prettiest pieces I've ever seen even at an antiques show!

Here is another picture courtesy of where you see Stuart in action!

I was so glad Jim was able to come with me! He's the only one I go to antique shows or fairs with and he truly does know what he's doing! 
( i hate this picture but at least you can see a lot of what goes on in the background!)

However, the moment we walked over to the sponsor's area I almost had to make him leave! My sweet husband decided to hop right into this vintage Subaru only to find out that wasn't allowed! In his defense, our volunteer guide told us we could! Poor Jim! Atleast the representative was super nice!

It was really a cool car!

And then our time was up! You get two hours as a media person…that was plenty for me! 
They will allow extra time if you ask though!

The crowds had definitely grown while we were touring the set!

And if you know me at all you can rest assured that these items will never be thrown away! What a way to spend a Friday night and a Saturday morning! Thank you Cathy McGowin for trusting me with this job and allowing me the privilege of being a behind the scenes person! 
If you ever need another event covered….I will definitely volunteer! 
Thank you!

If you ever get the chance to attend an Antiques Roadshow event in your area it is so worth it! You will not be sorry! Yes, the odds of getting a ticket seem rather slim but you never know! And even if you get a "sad" appraisal as I did on an item that belonged to my great grandmother just remember…there is absolutely no value for sentiment. You just can't put a price on something that is special to you for any reason!


  1. I am so happy that you were able to go and had such a great time! The Alabama Theatre is so beautiful. It reminds me of the Davis in Montgomery.
    Thank you for sharing the fun.

  2. Carolyn how exciting! This is the kind of event I would enjoy so much....of course I personally love Antiques Road Show! Come and Visit to see what I have been up to!

    The Arts by Karena

  3. How fun, Carolyn and I love your box - what a treasure! It must have been a true experience to be behind the scenes on such a production - thanks for letting us follow along!!