Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

May 1, 2013

Pawn Shop

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Pawn Shops are different these days.  They even carry new merchandise.

In past years the items were always used!  You could get real bargains — especially if you were patient — waiting for someone to forfeit their item.

Most people are familiar with pawn shops, but if you are not, allow me to give you some information on how they operate . . . or how they did in the days I visited them!

If you were short of cash . . . let’s say you had a “big” date and “little” cash.  You would find some personal item that you could use for security for a loan.  It might be a baseball glove,  a radio, a pair of boots, a watch, of even the spare tire from your car.  (Now I remember what happened to that spare from my 1950 Plymouth!) For the item you wanted to hock the pawn broker would offer you about ten percent of its value.

He would give you a ticket where you could claim the item by repaying the loan within a certain period of time.  In those days, usually only 30 days, but now I understand you can get up to 90 days.

Within that 30 days you would repay the loan with some interest and have your item returned.  However, most people never repaid . . . and their item went on sale in the pawn shop!  That is where you would get a bargain.

The pawn broker would usually sell the item for about half of its value.  After all, he only has about ten percent of its value invested and so he will make more than having just collected some interest.

Now to my story.  When I went to Texas as a young man, I discovered I did not have an alarm clock.  That was an obvious need!  So, off to the pawn shop I went.  And I found one!  It was an old wind-up clock with three feet.  It had two bells on the top with a ringer between them.  It was certainly loud enough to wake me!  And I discovered later it would wake the other fellows in the house!

I cannot imagine the poor fellow who hocked this item.  He couldn’t have gotten much of a loan as I paid only two dollars!  The usual computation would be that he had gotten less than fifty cents!  But in the 1950s that could have met a need!

My  other memorable time was when I bought wedding bands!  Yes . .  you heard me right!  Now I have your attention!

But . . . perhaps I need to wait until tomorrow to tell the rest of the story!



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