Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

By Terri Harber


Most people enjoy the thought of having an unknown treasure or two in their possession.

This is why the long-running "Antiques Roadshow" on the Public Broadcasting System continues being the most popular show on PBS.

It's described by its creators as "part adventure, part history lesson, and part treasure hunt."

Episodes were created nearby recently and several locals were among the lucky ones to receive professional opinions about the worth of some of their most prized possessions.

Shows with content from Boise will air during its 18th season, which begins in January 2014.

According to locals who went to the taping on June 29, fewer than half of the people who requested tickets received them.

About 15,000 requests for pairs of tickets were made but only 3,500 pairs were made available - and about 500 of those went to donors to Idaho Public Television. The remaining 3,000 were given out for free.

People from Baker City were impressed with the people on staff of the show because they were so friendly and helpful.

The Boise event reportedly provided enough material for three episodes.

The location where the episodes were recorded, Expo Boise, is about half of the size of the usual venue but the producers were able to get thousands of people in and out that day.

There were fewer than 70 appraisers but they managed to evaluate more than 10,000 items. Each person could bring two items.

Baker City resident Charlotte Landers contacted the newspaper to report on her experience.

"It went great. It was so much fun. It was a great atmosphere," she said.

Landers described the mood as being on a "holiday."

The lines people waited in to receive expert appraisals were similar to those people waiting to get on Disneyland rides: moving forward slowly but constantly.

"And we saw some of our favorite people: Mark Walberg and the Keno brothers, Leslie and Leigh," she said. "We were real excited."

Host Mark Walberg (not Mark Wahlberg, the actor formerly known as Marky Mark) and the Keno twins (Leslie and Leigh both are antiques experts who are regularly on the show) have huge followings among regular viewers.

Landers had some Frederic Remington prints lasered into a shadow box as well as some other family mementoes that she was curious about.

She also scored a free T-shirt advertising the program and one of its sponsors.

"I got the last one!" Landers said.

Frank Bishop, of DeJavu Collectibles on Second Street in Baker City, said he and his wife, Mary, both retired Baker educators, had a 90-minute wait to get in.

"It was starting to get warm outside," Bishop said. "But it was nice and cool inside."

The Bishops had a painted version of a photograph by Frank Jay Haynes of Excursion Steamboat Queen atop the Muir Glacier in 1891. Haynes is best known for his photographs of Yellowstone Park and his works are considered collectible.

The Bishops' painted version of the image, about 67 inches wide and 47 inches tall, is in a hand-carved frame.

Among other things they brought was a table lamp with a reversible painting in its shade. It had been owned by Mary's mother.

"We saw a lot of interesting items," Bishop said. "Furniture, firearms, glass pieces, paintings ..."

Most of the people who came were simply fans of the show. Bishop didn't notice many antiques dealers, he said.

"I'd do it again in a second," he said. "It was exciting and educational, too."

If they get an opportunity to attend another roadshow event they'll bring items that are "less bulky" and similar so they don't have to wait in so many lines. Each piece required a line trip. Together they stood in four lines - two each.

Ronald Stoaks, a retired school district employee, was at the Eugene event in 2012 as well. This time, he went with his wife, Rochelle, as well as his daughter and son-in-law, to Boise.

"I'm not worth a million dollars. And we're not getting on TV," he said in a mock-serious tone.

Stoaks brought Alaskan items he was curious about. Rochelle brought toys.

"The most fun was talking to people about their stuff," Stoaks said "It was just a kind of neat."

He also saw Walberg and the Keno brothers.

"I was thinking they were taller," he said.

Stoaks noted the Bishops had large items that were difficult to tote around. One person beat them by a mile in the bulkiness category, however, by bringing in a milking machine.

To see a list of appraisers in Boise as well as a slideshow of images, visit http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/cities/boise_event.html.