Local farmer Marc McCaslin was featured on the television show American Pickers recently, showcasing his relics for the nation.
McCaslin, who has a hobby of collecting antiques and fixing up old vehicles and older mechanical items, contacted the History Channel over four years ago when he found out that the Pickers team, including hosts Mike Wolfe and "Jersey Jon" Szalay, would be on the West Coast. The channel contacted him and said that they wanted to come out and check out his property. "I waited for them to schedule it, and the first two times they scheduled, there ended up being scheduling conflicts, and they canceled and said that they would reschedule.
Fast forward to four years later, McCaslin had thought that the show would never happen. But, just a few months ago, they called and said that they would be out.
The team arrived in the morning and filmed for seven straight hours. "It was definitely a long day," said McCaslin.
Wolf, who is an avid sign collector, ended up buying a couple of vintage signs from McCaslin, as well as some gas cans and a few other items. "With the sign, I kind of threw a large number out there, thinking that this is what they do, usually offering a lower offer after the first asking price was put out there. But, Mike said that the number was too low and ended up offering more than my asking price for the sign."
The only limits McCaslin had was on the local relics that he has, involving the history of the city of Shafter. Wolf was interested in a couple of the Shafter signs, but McCaslin told him that those needed to stay in Shafter and they weren't for sale. "The signs he was looking at were the Graddy's sign and the old Shafter Motel sign. I couldn't let them go. They are part of Shafter's history. They are a part of our city's heritage."
McCaslin received the Graddy's sign when Basham and Lara bought the property for their funeral home. His family had been friends with them for decades, allowing them to come pick up the sign before it was torn down. He also has the old Preston Tire Service sign, as well as the iconic spinning tires that were on top of the building.
"We had been doing business with the Prestons for over 30 years. Mrs. Preston wanted to know if I wanted to come get the sign, telling him that she trusted him to preserve this part of their history. "I thought that it was a great testament to the great kind of family that they are."
McCaslin, whose family homesteaded in Buttonwillow in the 1930s, ended up in Shafter over 50 years ago. "We just love this community, and I think that it is a privilege to help keep the city's history rich and alive."