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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, July 31, 2014

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In Movies & TV Commentary

WITI-TV Fox 6 reporter Chip Brewster interviews Hippie Tom on "Real Milwaukee."

"Real Milwaukee" visits Hippie Tom from "American Pickers"


If you ever watched "American Pickers" on History, then you know Mike and Frank who travel across the U.S. to find old items to sell in their stores in Iowa and Tennessee.

Some of the people the pickers come across are just as unique as some of the items that end up being featured on the show. One of the better-known characters is Hippie Tom, who owns a property in Waterford, just southwest of Milwaukee.

Chip Brewster, the roving reporter on WITI-TV Fox 6's "Real Milwaukee" had the chance to meet Hippie Tom before his semi-annual sale this morning.

"It really was a trip," Brewster said earlier today, getting back to the station after his live report. "It was amazing. The place is huge, with 20 buildings … and if you count the out-houses, he has 40 buildings filled with stuff."

If you are someone who like antiques and architecture salvage, then this sale, which Hippie Tom has had for the past three years, would be up your alley.

"I wouldn't say it has something for everyone, because many of the items are older," Brewster said. "But if you like something, you will find something related."

Hippie Tom has been on "American Pickers" twice. His first appearance was on the first show of the second season, and he met up with Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz when the production went to Sturgis, S.D. At Tom's sale, two other collectors from the show are also on hand, after developing friendships through being connected with the program.

"I pretty much said it and he agreed, that he has what I called a collection crave," Brewster said. "That he gets a crave to get one thing for his collection each day."

Brewster said that the sale, held on the property twice a year is a deal Hippie Tom has with his wife. He is able to keep collecting things if he opens it up and makes it available to the public. Because Tom gets so attached to the things he collects, it will be mostly his friends and family members that will be making the deals on the items up for sale.

Brewster took along some model ships from his personal collection and bartered with Tom and made a deal for a pair of saw horses and a Craftsman auto creeper.

It's been a new run for Brewster in the roving reporter role on "Real Milwaukee," and has been different than doing the news he did at the station previously.

"I like to think of myself as a fun, light-hearted guy," Brewster said, and with the new gig, that personality gets to shine through.

But on Thursday's broadcast, it was his ability to set up the scene and let Hippie Tom have the spotlight.

"I'd ask a question and he'd start an answer. Then he would pause, and go down a different track," Brewster said. "It was great live TV."

The sale continues through Sunday and you can find details on Hippie Tom's Facebook page. Catch Brewster's reports from "Real Milwaukee" here.

FRIDAY CONCERT: "Fox and Friends," the morning news program on Fox News will have another Friday concert tomorrow morning. Singer Eddie Money, known for hits "Take Me Home Tonight" and "Two Tickets to Paradise," will discuss his summer tour schedule as well as perform some of his greatest songs starting around 7 a.m.

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