You’re on BASE! Take some time to catch your breath … you are safe.

One of the perks of my job is that the south wall of my office is a window. I have a great view of the candy store, the bus stop, a mechanic’s shop, and a pawn shop.

We spend a good portion of the day people watching. I have to admit that my heart skips a beat when I see someone coming up the street with a load that is obviously going to the pawn shop. I love to watch them go in with such anticipation. Then when they come out, face downcast, still carrying their item … I feel a little sad for them. But, on a day like yesterday, when they come out with money in their hand and a little lift in their step … I feel happy for them.

One thing about pawn shops is that they always seem shady to me. When I first moved to Illinois I was taken to the pawn shop, by a friend, to buy a bike. I kept wondering who it had been stolen from. Every time I road it past a child, I wondered, what if this is his bike? What if he accuses me of stealing it? When I was growing up my family was not really one that visited very many pawn shops. My “Illinois family”, however, was very fond of pawn shops and went there almost weekly. I actually got my wedding ring at a pawn shop … and sold said ring at a pawn shop. If that ring could talk the sad stories it could tell. To me a pawn shop is full of items that once had some real value to someone, but eventually, they became worth whatever the shop would pay. I don’t know many people that actually go back to get their stuff, but I’m sure some do.

Overall, pawn shops intrigue me. In my mind, most people go there out of desperation. One of the men yesterday was carrying a 15 ft ladder. Had he stolen it? Was there a man somewhere nearby wondering how the heck he was going to get off the roof? Or was it his own ladder? Had he lost his job? Was this his only option to put a few dollars in his pocket? I will never know … but I’m intrigued with the story.

The other man that had good fortune yesterday was carrying a speaker of some sort. He too came out with cash and a spring in his step. As I waited anxiously for him to come out, I noticed the pawn shop phone number was printed on the sign out front. I thought it would be kinda funny to call them … describe the man and the speaker he was carrying … and tell them he had stolen it from me. But … it was only a thought. 

Any experience in the underworld of pawn shops? What is your opinion … are most of the items stolen … or just a piece of a dream that someone gave up on? I would love to hear some good pawn shop stories.

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Comments on: "A Good Day at the Pawn Shop" (3)

  1. The only thing I ever bought at a pawn shop was a saddle.
    I do not want to think it was stolen, but I think the person had to sell it because they did not have a horse any more.
    I do not want to think that the horse died though.
    my mom and I shopped pawn shops for a couple days looking for a cheap TV. she did not want to spend the money on a new TV.
    she is a bit frugal. We did not buy a TV, when we saw the condition of them.
    I guess I like new things too much.
    My daughters got their house broken into while they were in college.
    They had a jewelry box stolen. Most of the things in the jewelry box were of more sentimental value than real $$$ value.
    So we headed out to look for the jewelry in the pawn shops. We had to look in the phone book to know where they were.
    We did not find the jewelry, and quickly gave up our search.
    I think we felt a bit dirty even going in the pawn shops.
    I guess we are snobs.

    AS FAR AS THE HORSE GOES, WE’LL JUST SAY THEY SOLD THE HORSE AND THE NEW OWNER ALREADY HAD A SADDLE … THAT WAY WE DON’T HAVE TO THINK IT DIED OR ANYTHING.

    I WOULD HAVE A HARD TIME BUYING A TV AT A PAWN SHOP … ON SOMETHING LIKE THAT I WANT A WARRANTY AND A GOOD RETURN POLICY. I’M GLAD SHE BOUGHT ONE SOMEWHERE ELSE.

    I KNOW THAT ON MY “DETECTIVE” SHOWS THEY CATCH LOTS OF KILLERS AND ROBBERS BY GOING TO THE PAWN SHOP AND FOLLOWING THEIR TRAIL. TOO BAD YOU DIDN’T FIND ANY OF THE GIRLS’ JEWELRY. I GUESS TV HAS GIVEN PAWN SHOPS A BAD NAME, OR MAYBE WE ARE JUST SNOBS, EITHER WAY … I WON’T BE GOING TO ONE ANY TIME SOON.

  2. I think the oddest thing I’ve seen at that pawn shop was the day someone took a wheelchair in. I just kept thinking, “Whose chair was that? What are they doing now? Did they leave Gramma without any way to get around just so they could go get a few bucks?” It was funny and sad all at the same time~

    I’ve only gone in a pawn shop once and I felt like I was breaking the law or something! Odd what we project onto things huh? I can’t remember exactly what my ex-husband was looking for…an electric guitar or a bike or something he thought he had to have. LOL

    I feel sorry for the people that walk up with lawn mowers and such to the pawn shop…get there…and the thing won’t start. So they end up pushing it right back the way they came. Awww…so sad.

    WERE YOU WATCHING WITH ME THE DAY THAT GUY KEPT TRYING TO START THAT LAWN MOWER? SEEMS LIKE AFTER ABOUT 20 MINUTES AND A LOT OF BLACK SMOKE THEY GOT IT STARTED AND HE LEFT WITH A LITTLE BIT OF CASH. SOME ARE NOT SO LUCKY.

    DAN AND JAKE WERE TRYING TO SCRAPE TOGETHER SOME MONEY ONE TIME AND I HEARD CLIFF TELL THEM, “PAWN SOMETHING.” DAN SAID, “THE ONLY THING WE HAVE LEFT TO PAWN IS THE PLAY STATION.” I WAS PLAYING THEIR PLAY STATION AT THE TIME. I’M NOT SURE IF THEY WERE TRYING TO GUILT ME OR WHAT … I JUST KEPT PLAYING ON THEIR GAME SYSTEM AND ACTED LIKE I DIDN’T HEAR THEM.

    WONDER HOW MUCH WE COULD GET FOR A CAPPUCCINO MACHINE AND A SOUND SYSTEM?

  3. The only pawn shop I’ve ever seen the inside of is the Millers’ shop in Pueblo. And it was clean and not at all scary. The outside of the ones here have thus far kept me away.

    My family likes to go to auctions, which is sort of like a pawn shop, complete with shady characters hanging around.

    I DON’T KNOW IF I EVER KNEW THEY HAD A PAWN SHOP … THAT EXPLAINS A LOT ABOUT PAUL. 🙂 YOU SHOULD HAVE SCOPED OUT THE PAWN SHOPS FOR YOUR NEW BIKE …

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