Pawn Place is not a TV series, nor is it 'reality.' It is, however, the REAL experiences and stories of my 30 years in the pawn industry in Las Vegas. Those experiences have taught me a lot about a lot. And that training, knowledge and experience is what gives me an edge and helped me to be chosen as a Real Deal dealer in a new reality series called Real Deal on the History channel. If you are looking for make-believe, this isn't it. Go look for a 'star' if you want that. Not that I don't enjoy a good story, but real life is FAR more interesting. And far more real. Without having to call in 'an expert.' The Real Deal.
For me, working in a pawn shop is more than a job. It is my lifestyle. It is even where I got my wife. Right after she came out of pawn. True story. And we have been married now for over 20 years and have two sons together, so who says you can't get something priceless in a pawn shop!
Most people don't understand just what a pawn shop is and isn't. Or what we do or don't do. I run into this daily. The most recent was on Facebook in a thread with an attorney about some laws and politics. For some reason, he felt that anything I had to say wasn't worth a thing because, after all, I 'just work in a Vegas pawn shop' (direct quote) and therefore didn't know anything about anything. Hollyweird has done a great job at misinformation and they haven't done much to change the wrongs. That is part of what I hope to do here.
I am a pawn broker, a coin dealer, a firearms instuctor for handguns, rifles and machine guns and a gun shop manager. In there someplace, I also get to play with all kinds of antiques, collectables and just plain fun stuff. And I get to put on my red suit towards the end of the year. Every day is different, every customer is a new experience for me. One of the many things I get to do every day is to help people choose the right firearm for personal protection. I am unapologetic in my support of people owning firearms and I am proud to say that I have sold many, many thousands of them over the years. I also get to work with and train many of those individuals so they can obtain a concealed firearms permit. Yes, you can get one too, if you are a US citizen or resident alien - even if you don't live in Nevada.
Pawn brokers all around the world have many stories to tell. But there is a certain mystic about Vegas. Fast times. Fast cash. Faster women. Elvis. Sinatra. Movies and TV shows. We all have an idea of what Vegas is and isn't. But it is different when you live and work here, instead of staying the weekend. Believe it or not, we don't all live in hotels and don't eat all of our meals at the buffet. (OK, I do like prime rib and all-you-can-eat crab leg night.) We actually have families, are well educated, go to church, work with the Boy Scouts and drive old trucks. You won't find a swimming pool or a palm tree at my home, but I do have fruit trees and bee hives in the back yard. I've never personally owned a Rolex, a gold chain or a diamond ring. We really do pay real cash money for the items we have out for sale - no one just walks in and gives us what we have our for sale. And 115 degrees is HOT. You never fully 'aclimate' to it. Even if it is a 'dry heat.'
And now, along comes the TV series. I was contacted by quite a few different producers for over half a dozen shows. Yes, even that other Las Vegas based show. But our show is MUCH better. It is the Real Deal. They contacted me because of my experience and knowledge as a pawn broker. They looked at quite a few different people from this industry and related fields from all across the country to find dealers that would be able to make a deal and who would have a WIDE range of knowledge on all sorts of items. The show is totally unscripted and very real. None of us have seen the items that we try to make a deal on, until it is walked onto the set. No help, no research staff feeding us information about an item, no nothing but what we have in our heads. Our responses are real, warts and all. Real dealers, real sellers, real items and our own real cash. This should prove to be interesting. :-)
So read along if you like. Feel free to make a comment which may even get posted, unedited, if I think it is relevent. Or even if it isn't. I hope to be making almost daily additions but I'll ask right up front - bear with me as I get this going and organized. While friends and family are long time 'bloggers' this is my first attempt. I haven't written anything on a regular basis since the 80's when I hosted a couple of weekly talk radio shows and did a monthly column in a magazine. So there are bound to be growing pains. :-0