The life and times of a real 30 year Las Vegas Pawn Shop Veteran .....As Seen on TV!

I was very fortunate to be born to the parents I had. Both mom and dad were older than most when they got married, being in their mid to late 30's. They brought with them the experiences of growing up during the 'great depression' so even though we were in the sixties, we got a good dose of common sense to go along with the social changes taking place. And both of my parents helped to form my way of thinking and got me started along my professional track.

They both grew up with the shortages of 'things' that everyone seems to need today. But it sure didn't keep them from providing all that we needed. Both of my parents were very good at making everything come together with whatever they had. Did we go hungry when my father was out of work? Never missed a meal. My mom made our bread. Our cupboards and pantry were full of home canned fruit and jam. We always had clothes, often sewn by my mother. When I wanted lizards, turtles and fish for pets, my father made cages better than the store had available. And when I needed camp gear to go camping with the boy scouts, I got fully outfitted at the surplus store for far less than new.

My father started me with coin collecting when I was in early grade school. He had no background in this, no desire to study numismatics, but a co-worker was collecting silver dollars (yes, they were in circulation back then) and got his son interested, so my dad thought it would be something we could do together. Our budget didn't allow for silver dollars, but we would get rolls of pennies at the bank on payday and started to fill the blue coin books. Soon, I was looking at and learning about all the different coins in circulation, from the buffalo nickels to the mercury dimes and yes, to the silver dollars. Both my parents hated them, as they weighed so much, but I really loved them. My first silver dollar was an 1879 that I got from the tooth fairy when I had to have a juvenile tooth pulled. That coin was a very big deal! Keep in mind that gas was less than a quarter a gallon and we got a nickel for each of our years for a weekly allowance. I loved that coin, studied it so that I knew every part of the design. But that was the way we were brought up. My parents instilled an interest in history in me that continues to this day.

My parents were photographers and we grew up with a photo lab in the basement. In grade school, we often had reports to do on something in the news or a great event. When I had to do a report in the 3rd grade about the Revolutionary war, I was especially drawn to the coin and currency connection. My father made a copy of the Fugio cent and the Continental dollar, and my mother helped me paste it into the report and to hand color them. Other reports were about Douglas Macarthur, the 'civil war' centennial and the Kennedy assasination (which I remember well - we got sent home from school early that day, without telling us what happened.) This type of thing is where I picked up my appreciation for history. Both of my parents had worked at Cape Canaveral during the early pre-manned space program and while I was too young to remember that part of it, when the Mercury program (and later Titan and Appllo programs) came along, they got a spark of interest in me that devloped into a blaze. When Echo I was flying overhead, my dad made sure we were positioned to see it in orbit. If you ever see footage of the early days, where a rocket would more likely blow up at launch than to fly, it was most likely taken by my father. I watched all of the lift offs and recoveries, clipped all of the newspaper articles and kept track of what was going on.

My parents taught me that material goods didn't have to be store bought new, and to take care of what I had. To this day, I feel guilty when I use more than a small piece of tape on something, as my mom taught me to conserve since tape wasn't in great supply when she was young. This really helped me as a young adult, when I found myself the single parent to two young children with a low paying job. I took that job, since it allowed me time to be with my children and with the help of family and friends, we got along OK. And it was where my career as a picker really got going. It's what I had to do to survive and take care of my family!