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Hilton Couple Gets a Visit From 'American Pickers'

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Rochester: Hilton Couple Gets a Visit From 'American Pickers'
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A local couple in the antique business will get some nationwide exposure next week. The Westfalls of Hilton will have some of their collection featured on the popular TV show American Pickers.

For Dennis Westfall, it is much more than a hobby.

"I view everything as art."

The Hilton man's been collecting for nearly all his life.

"I've bought more than I sold, and that's why I have a ton of stuff. Stuff is what it is, too... by the way."

If it's vintage...

"I normally like to get stuff I've never seen before."

And rare, chances are, he's interested.

"The problem is I'll collect something for a number of years and then get tired of that and move on to something completely different."

Finding antiques, especially the rare ones, can be competitive.

"So on Sunday mornings I'm up at the flea market chasing around, or knocking on doors, looking in somebody's barn. I love the thrill of the hunt."

The house Dennis, a school teacher, shares with wife Mary Frances is filed with stuff. Phonographs, paintings, even a suit of armor.

"I love it. It can be overwhelming at times as far as cleaning it," said Mary.

The Westfalls don't keep it all. They buy and sell all sorts of antiques.

"You know, it isn't the money, really. It's finding the right person for the right piece and being able to make that connection and know that they will be the stewards and the caretaker for that, and hold it near and dear to their heart, as we have for a certain amount of time," she said.

Over the summer, the Westfalls got a call from the producers of the History Channel's hit TV show "American Pickers."

"They were interested in seeing what I had," said Dennis.

The show's hosts came to Hilton to do a segment which is scheduled to air next week.

"They did film for 12 hours, and they did indicate they cut it down to 11 minutes, so I won't be getting my 15 minutes of fame, but maybe close to ten."

The Westfalls have so much stuff they can't keep it all at their house. So they opened up a shop, which is open in Brockport, on the weekends.

"If it catches my eye, it's in there."

The Westfalls hope to retire in a few years. In the meantime, they'll keep buying, and selling, and hunting for treasures.

"I find collecting and making somebody happy to be very rewarding. And I get rewarded because I get a few bucks to go get more stuff," Dennis said.

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