By Brad Dison
Exclusive to Bienville Parish Journal
If you passed through Bienville this past weekend you may have noticed a van, a couple of motor homes, and a few other vehicles at the Hilltop Quikstop convenience store and gas station which will be opening soon.
On Saturday, February 12, 2022, the cast and crew of the wildly popular reality TV show American Pickers on the History Channel filmed in Bienville, Louisiana. The show follows the team headed by brothers Mike and Robbie Wolfe as they scour the country looking for hidden gems in junkyards, basements, garages and barns, meeting quirky characters and hearing their amazing stories.
On Saturday, Mike from American Pickers looked for hidden gems that belonged to Bienville’s Mayor Wesley Boddie, his daughter, Heather Boddie, and grandson Austin Pike.
Mr. Boddie said “They were very nice. Mike was just as nice as he could be. Everybody on the crew was. I think they had 12 people there. It is truly an involved process. They [began filming early in the day and] filmed until 8:30 or 9:00 pm. We had a good time. He [Mike] had to do some digging because he found some stuff I hadn’t seen in the 25 years since I put it there. Mike was very interested in my stuff. He spent some money, I promise you. All of that will come out on TV.”
Mr. Boddie explained that in addition to tangible items, Mike and the crew were also interested in the legacy of the store. Mr. Boddie said, “My daddy had a store, I had a store then it burned, and now Austin, third generation, is going to have a store in the same community.”
American Pickers pointed out the need for a local gas station when one of their vehicles arrived dangerously low of gasoline. They assumed they would be able to purchase gas in Bienville. Mr. Boddie said with a chuckle, “They were out of luck. Austin had to go home and syphon 5 gallons of gas for their vehicle so they could get to a gas station.”
Austin said he enjoyed his experience with American Pickers. “I thought it was a very neat experience,” Austin said, “to see a production crew right here in our back yard. I enjoyed visiting and working with Mike.”
I spoke with Production Supervisor Cody Holland who said the show filmed in Bienville would air in approximately four months. To get an update when the Bienville episode will air, sign up for the free email subscription by clicking here.
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