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Elmo collector to appear on American Pickers Nov. 19

Elmo history buff and chief antique collector Ned Stebbins can add TV personality to his list of accomplishments after he appears on an episode of American Pickers to be aired  at 9 p.m. Nov. 19 on The History Channel (channel 269 on DirecTV, channel 120 on Dish and channel 41 on Comcast Cable).

Unfortunately, Stebbins, the star of the upcoming episode, is currently a patient in Duke University Medical Center after suffering a massive heart attack Saturday while awaiting lung cancer treatment.

Calling from the North Carolina hospital, his wife, Venetia, said she wanted to let county residents know the episode on the Pickers’ visit to Elmo would be broadcast 9 p.m. Nov. 19

American Pickers sought out the Elmo antique collector to film the episode in May.

After years of collecting stuff, Stebbins said he finally received some recognition for what he described as “his serious collection of antiques.”

Retiring in 1983 after 39 years of working for the Universal Tobacco Company, Stebbins said that was when he “got real serious in collecting.”

He first began collecting tractors and restoring them.

Over the years his collection has grown to include tractors, buses, cars, signs, bikes and more.

 “Many people around here call these antiques junk, but they’re not; they’re valuable,” Stebbins said. “What these people don’t realize is if you keep something, it may become worth a lot after a couple of years.”

American Pickers’ Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz share Stebbins’ appreciation and sentiment for “old stuff,” and on Wednesday, May 23, they paid him for some of his antiques.

People will get to see exactly what American Pickers purchased from the Elmo collector.

 “I was sitting at home and a man pulled up. He gave me his card and said he was from American Pickers,” said Stebbins’ wife, Venetia. “It was hard to believe that someone wanted little ole’ Elmo on television. I really didn’t think they’d come.”

The man from the show had heard about the Stebbins’ home at a restaurant and decided to check it out. After seeing all the antiques, he decided the self-proclaimed antiqueologists Wolfe and Fritz would love the place.

The Stebbins described Wolfe and Fritz as down to earth gentlemen who look exactly like they do on television.

The two men walked all over the Stebbins’ property last spring fascinated by his antiques.

Halifax County residents can tune in to watch the pair do business with Stebbins for some old signs, automobile lights, motorcycle lights, a coke top and a one of a kind signed, porcelain folding chair from Piedmont Cigarettes that, according to Stebbins, they freaked out over.