And therein lies the rub. How do ordinary people not search for that nickel? Who can afford a hidden masterpiece in the first place - much less have the where with all to cover it up with a new painting? And what child doesn't play with a favorite toy until it falls apart? And forget the box. It gets thrown away within the first week.
I have plenty of what could have been pricey first-edition children's book, but they all bear the marks of crayons held in chubby fists - my first attempt to form the words I loved so well. Raggedy Ann and Andy, The Water Babies Circus, Bambi, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, and many others all reside on a special shelf in the library. But each and every one is defaced by my toddler attempts at penmanship - including the myriad Munro Leaf's, which were one of my mother's many attempts to make me civilized.
My own children have encouraged me to "keep on looking" because so-called primitives are all the rage, and my forth generation home is full of things that are odd enough and old enough. But there again, each one is missing a handle, a knob, or some other essential part that would make it worth anything.
My grandmother did have some glass that was valuable, but it disappeared along with twelve place settings of English china when we were robbed nine years ago. Added together, they would probably bought a decent little used car today. But priceless?
So I have to settle for watching other folks jump for joy when they find a personal treasure, and realize that mine is all around me. My wonderful family, the natural beauty of the farm I've inherited, and - yes - the eccentric old home I live in, with its myriad "primitives", are the treasures I'm blessed with.
Thank you, God. And phooey on The Antiques Roadshow.