Thousands of Alaskans and some collectables from Kodiak make their way to ‘Antiques Roadshow’ taping

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Thousands of Alaskans brought relics to this month’s taping of Antiques Roadshow in Anchorage; that’s the long-running PBS television show where experts appraise everything from family heirlooms to thrift store finds during stops in cities around the country. It was the show’s first visit to Alaska, and a handful of Kodiak residents made the trip with their own items.

Charlie among those who made the trip from Kodiak with his brother and niece. Antiques Roadshow asked KMXT to only use first names for show participants. Charlie brought a vibrantly colored woven blanket with fringe and stripes adorned with delicate details. 

“This is the picture of me buying this blanket here in the marketplace,” he said.

Charlie, pictured here in 1968, wearing the woven blanket he ultimately took to ‘Antiques Roadshow.’ (Kirsten Dobroth/KMXT)

He’s pointing to a picture of himself, carrying canteens of water with coconuts slung over his shoulder. The year is 1968 and the blanket is loosely wrapped around his shoulders. He was near the border of East Timor and Indonesia – in southeast Asia. 

Charlie – a self-described wanderlust – has stacks of photos from his travels. 

He said he haggled for the item and doesn’t even remember what currency he ultimately paid in. Another photo shows some of the local villagers wrapped in similarly designed textiles.

“This is what got the Antiques Roadshow guy really excited,” he said.

Charlie ended up making it to the greenroom for an interview and appraisal of the artifact. 

That doesn’t mean he’ll make it on the show, and he didn’t want to give away too much in case he did.

Altogether, 2,500 attended the taping in Anchorage – the first time in 28 seasons the show visited Alaska. Prospective Roadshow attendees needed to enter a lottery for a ticket – and each ticket holder was allowed to bring two items. 

“You wait for a little while to get in,” said Charlie. “And then finally, you wait some more inside and when you get inside, there’s this one lady there that determines: which category do you have?”

Other attendees were lugging around all kinds of things – toys and textiles and big and small pieces of art – to the different tents for appraisal. Charlie called the whole thing a smooth operation and says he was impressed with the expertise and efficiency of the production. He’s looking forward to watching the show when it comes out sometime between January and March of 2024.

And he said getting to go to a taping of the show at all was a bucket list experience whether he makes the final cut or not.

“You meet so many nice people and intelligent people and appreciative people and artistic people,” he said. “You know, it’s an experience. It’s like, being in the middle of a beehive.” 

Regardless of appraisal value, he said the blanket is a priceless keepsake from his travels.

Editor’s note: For transparency, Charlie also helped found KMXT in the 70s.

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