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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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TV helps family uncover treasures

Gary Dymski Newsday

John Overend was skeptical when his wife, Barrie, mentioned that their family might be on a new reality show on the Home & Garden Television Network.

“It really didn’t sink in,” said John, admitting that he was acting the part of the typical inattentive husband.

But a week later, an appraiser and another representative from “Cash in the Attic” – an American version of a BBC program that debuted Monday – appeared at the Overends’ Garden City, N.Y., home. They were there to help the couple do what so many people don’t seem to be able to do for themselves – go through the accumulated junk in their attic and elsewhere, and pick out the stuff that actually might be worth something.

That’s the point of “Cash in the Attic” – turning household junk into dollars so a family can bankroll a dream project in their home. In the Overends’ case, it was to raise $1,600 so they could turn their partially finished basement into a fun-filled playroom for their two kids, 7-year-old Nathan and 5-year-old Addie.

So, two men scoured the 50-year-old brick rancher where the family has lived for two years, looking for hidden treasure – antiques, memorabilia, collectibles, books – anything that might be of value at auction.

Now that filming is over and the show – hosted by John Sencio and featuring appraisers Tim Luke and Christine Downing – has started to air, the couple admit the experience was fun. When the film crew went to the Overends’ house for three days in February, John found it wasn’t easy to let go of some possessions. He was reluctant to part with a Dutch painting of a windmill that his family bought when they lived in Europe during his childhood and that hung in his bedroom seemingly forever. And it was hard to give up a pair of walking sticks, both more than 100 years old, that came from London. One had great sentimental value, since it was his late father’s favorite.

Rigg said most homeowners have similar items stashed in boxes, closets, basements – and attics, of course.

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