I grew up with the impression that pawn shops were somewhat seedy, slightly disreputable places. In my mind, they were either the court of last resort for people who were down on their luck and desperately needing quick cash or a place where stolen items were fenced. I certainly never set foot in one. I had no desire to do so. My curiosity about what I would find in a pawn shop simply didn't exist.
All of that has changed thanks to two programs on The History Channel: PAWN STARS and CAJUN PAWN STARS. Judy and I visited the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas that is featured on the long-running, immensely popular PAWN STARS series. I'll detail that adventure in an upcoming post.
PAWN STARS has proven so popular that a similar type show premiered earlier this year. CAJUN PAWN STARS, set in Alexandria, Louisiana, features Jimmy "Bid Daddy" Doremus, his little brother, his daughter, other employees and a colorful cast of characters who come into the shop with all sorts of interesting items to sell.
You've got to wonder how two programs about pawn shops made it to The History Channel. I guess the fact that each item has some kind of unique and interesting historical story behind it qualifies it as being a "history" oriented program. I know. That's a stretch. But Jimmy and the gang do see, buy and sell lots of cool stuff.
The result of these programs is to suddenly give a new cachet to the business of pawn shops. They're now seen as great places to shop for a variety of interesting items. No matter what your field of interest, you can probably find it in one of these shops. And of course, once you do find something you want, you can engage the pawnbroker in a haggling contest to see if you can get a lower price.
Don't be surprised if Judy and I make a trip to Alexandria sometime in the future just to visit the pawn shop seen on CAJUN PAWN STARS. It looks like a fun place with nice folks behind the counters, colorful customers and tons of cool, vintage stuff. We're there.