In this economy, consumers are inclined to go the extra mile to find good deals. For many, it’s a place where you can find beauty in objects from the past. Valerie Gonzalez-Sanchez introduces us to a man whose job it is to infuse new life into the old. His story may just change the way you look at your old belongings.
For bargain hunters, collectors, and one-of-a-kind chasers, this is the place to be. Welcome to Bordertown. While this may be the place where you can find anything, for Beto Rodriguez this is his gallery. Nestled in a corner of bordertown, Tex-Rex Antiques is a showroom dedicated to objects from the past. Everything from antique appliances, vintage toys, vinyl records, glassware, even old signage throws you back into a nostalgic mood. At some point, all these things were top of the line, but to their previous owners the luster and magic wore off. In steps Beto Rodriguez. His eye, trained to see the value in what some have cast out as valueless. Beto points out, “The stuff you see here today, some of it is 100 years old, some of it is 20 years old, but it's still intact and usable. Versus, you go buy something new today, and maybe a year from now it's no good no more."
You see, Beto is a real life local picker. He goes about about town picking items that look interesting to him. He says, it's an instinct that he's nurtured from a young age. “When I was a kid, and even when I was in college and in school, my mind wasn't set on that. My mind was on being out there picking, going out to the alleys and back roads, and ranches and finding my stuff. That's what I've always wanted, and I'm doing it now."
What may have started as a one-man business, has expanded to a family affair. His son, Robert Rodriguez Jr. speaks about their experience, “This is a family business, because everyone that's here is family. My mom, my dad, my two sisters, we all help each other out."
Although it takes many hands to keep this shop in ship-shape, it pays off. Customers just can't stay away. Armando Gamez, a frequent customer admits, “I've been a customer since, I would say, around five years from now."
It's easy to see why people come week after week hungry for more. You just never know what you'll find at Tex-Rex Antiques. In part, they come back because these customers have seen the beauty in the forgotten. That may just be the most rewarding part for this picker in the end.
Tex-Rex Antiques is within Bordertown, located on Highway 359, near the city limit. While Beto has been at this business over thirty years, he says they plan on staying in business for many more years to come.