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Local Pickers Visit Seminole for Auctions of a Lifetime

Thursday, June 13, 2013 @ 12:06 AM

Posted by Ron Wilshire

SEMINOLE, Pa. – American Pickers recently gave a national audience a taste of the treasures of Aldo Veronesi in Seminole, but the public got to see the merchandise Friday and Saturday at the site of the old post office in a living estate auction.

Visitors had many different reasons for attending, but most viewed Veronesi as a local legend long before it was featured on the History Channel’s “American Pickers.”

Pickers chronicles the exploits and adventures of Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz as they uncover buried treasures that eventually grace antique shops and museums.

Seminole’s former post office is one of ten buildings in Armstrong and Clarion counties owned by Veronesi, a long-time antique collector and one-time auctioneer.  Each of nine locations is filled to the rafters with items that Veronesi acquired over the years.

“Who would have thought that Aldo’s crazy maze of junk would turn out to be one of the finest finds that “American Pickers” has ever encountered?” said Fritz at the close of the Seminole segment.

Wolfe was so impressed by the sheer mass and selection of items in Veronesi’s Seminole treasure hut that he dubbed him “the godfather of all junk” on the spot.

Friday was the place to be if you were looking for one cardboard box that contained a tire and Six Million Dollar Man Board Game.  Various do-dads, what-nots, and thing-a-ma-jigs were packaged to sell by the box and also included a Laverne and Shirley Board Game, parts for long-forgotten machines, and you could even buy a clue – the Clue Board Game, of course.

The official description of the things for auction and advertised by Auctioneer Freeman Yoder was antiques, collectible, primitives, car parts, guns, tools, misc., and the box lots.  More information about the auction items and future auctions is available at

“I have 10 buildings full of stuff,” Aldo Veronesi said in an earlier interview. “I’ve been in the auction business for 35 years.” 

Veronesi said that he started going to auctions with the late Raymond Nulph of New Bethlehem.

For many people attending the auction, the huge collection of merchandise was really not “junk” as described by the American Pickers hosts.  The there were bargains to be had at the auction, but there were also fond memories about Aldo’s post office.  It was just a place people wanted and needed to be on Friday and Saturday.

“Aldo is an institution, and I just didn’t want to miss this and see what was here,” said Judy Crawford of New Bethlehem.

The building was always packed with merchandise and Kayla Raybuck of Hawthorn remembers going to the Post Office as a little girl.

“I remember going to the post office with my grandma Salvadore that lived up the street here,” said Raybuck. 

“There was literally a little path that you could walk through when you went into the store. You could see where there was a curtain where Olive lived, and she would go back in there.  It was a tiny little patch and all of the grocery stuff was on the right hand side, and you went up to this little window and get your mail.”

Raybuck’s family was also having an estate yard sale Friday three doors down from Veronesi’s for her grandmother Connie Salvadori.

The first day of the auction attracted people from all over on the lookout for unclaimed treasures.

“We just go for a Friday outing and my husband collects some things, so we go to ones where there is something he is collecting,” said Jody Johnston of Greenwood Village in Butler County.

“He likes banks and old railroad lanterns and nutcrackers and he started collecting one thing.  Now he’s branched out to anything that looks neat.  I collect Scotty dogs, but there aren’t many here.”

“My husband always says don’t take too much home.  His rule is nothing bigger than a breadbox, but you know … I love him.”

Buying things really isn’t an issue for Don Cepull of Brookville.

“It’s just interesting going to auctions whether you buy anything or not,” said Cepull.  “It’s a social thing and I like to buy hot dogs.  There are a lot of good buys.”

Curiosity was the driving force for many people at the auction.

“Some friends and I came over for the auction today,” said Rhonda McMillen-Toth of New Bethlehem.  “We have been through here a lot of times and we just wanted to check out the auction and see what was here.  It was a good thing to do on a Friday.”

Where Do You Start?

With more auctions set throughout the summer, the surprises will continue to be unearthed.  A partial list of the items for auction on Friday may give some hint as to what is coming.

Kendall Oil Cans, Full Case Esso Oil, Vintage Cameras, Door Push (Reach For Stroehmann Bread), Glass Dazey Churns, Slag Glass Lamp, Vaseline Gas Lamp Shade, Early Lamp Shades, Boot Polish Stand, Post Cards, Marhoefer Bread Thermometer, Camillus Knife Display Case, Clarinet, Winchester Wood Box, Gas & Oil Maps, Knives, Costume Jewelry, Banks, Lighters, Johnny Seven Toy Machine Gun, Du Bois Export Chalk Display, Bull Horns, Mantle Clocks, Miner’s Buckets, Badges, Early Unusual Miner’s Lamp, Miller Beer Clock, Bull Dog Jar Rubbers, Oilers, Crocks, Cast Iron Kettle, Early Reflectors, New Old Stock Brace Drills, Graniteware, Dutch Oven, Mining Powder Keg, c1940 Black Miniature Dolls, 2 – Anvil Top Hardie Tools, 1938 PA Dept of Highway Bronze Plaques, Aluminum Griswold Skillet, #12 Griswold Skillet, Railroad Switch Lantern, Child’s Primitive Milking Stool, Early 3 Wheel Pedal Horse, Sakrete Advertising Clock, Piggy Barbeque Toys, Stereoviews and Cards, Victorian Small Metal Lamp Shades, Barn Lanterns, Good Time Charlie Toy (In Box), Steering Wheel Assist Knobs (With Pin Up Girls), Depression Glass, Brass Gas Chandelier, Electric Butter Churn, Glass Hoosier Jars, 20 LB & a 50 LB Carbide Cans, Roy Roger’s Western Telephone, Wooden Churns, Cow Bells, Hand Corn Sheller, 1908 Roofing Nailer (Very Unusual), Early Drying Rack, Copper Kettle, Cross Cut Saws, Gold Filled Pocket Watch, Exide Glass Battery Case, US Postal Office Sign, Sleigh Bells, Beverly Farms Milk Clock, Just Right Repair Kit for Carbide Lamps, Railroad Lanterns, PRR Lock, 45’s & 33’s Records, Vintage Toys, Sinclair Transistor Radios and Much, Much More.

5 – Identical Military Guns with Bayonets, 12 Gage Pump Shotgun, Springfield Model 87-M 22 Cal Semi-Automatic, 16 Gage Single Shot Shotgun, Western Field 12 Gage Bolt Action, 303 Rifle with Mauser Action, Stevens 16 Gage Double Barrel, Daisy Pistol BB Gun Model 118,  New – Marbles Gun Sights, 22 Hornet Savage Clip, Gun Sling Swivels, Federal 8mm Shells, Duck Calls, Vintage Winchester Ammunition (7mm Mauser, 38 cal, 30 Luger 7.65, 32-40, 25-35, 38-40, 25-20) and More.

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