what is your perspective on life in evansville?
I grew up in downtown Evansville and continue to live downtown. It’s the kind of neighborhood where as a kid, I’d hop on my bike and go down to Stratman’s or Luhring News and get candy or a comic book. It was great growing up down here, and it continues to be great because now instead of going to Luhring’s and getting a candy bar, I go to the Peephole and get cheese sticks.
what’s your favorite pawn shop story?
One of my favorite stories is this gentleman came in and I noticed that his wedding band was a pair of dice. And I said, ‘Hey, that’s very cool; that’s an unusual pattern. I really enjoy that.’ And he said, ‘Ya, I had to do that because marriage is really a gamble.’
Every day just being at the pawn shop, we meet and get to know different people and I enjoy each and every interaction regardless of whether it makes a good story. But that guy is one of my favorites; the rest of them I’m saving for the memoir.
do you ever test new comedy bits on customers?
Always! Everybody’s ready to laugh. Everybody’s always ready to look on the brighter side of a situation, and anytime you can encourage somebody to look at the positive aspects of anything or at least just feel free to laugh about anything. Sometimes people wait until you’ve given permission to laugh about anything, but it always works out.
Actually, I’ve tested out probably three different comedy bits since we started this conversation … most of them didn’t land. A lot of disappointed and confused looks. So, it doesn’t always work out, but if you’re subtle about it enough people just think you’re a little weird. And I’ll take that.
Living in any community, not just Evansville, involves a certain degree of buying in.
what assumptions have we made about living in evansville?
We’ve made plenty of assumptions about Evansville, and we need to test each and every one of those by getting out of town and realizing how much better it is when you come back. There are things that you see and things that you enjoy when you go out of town, and you could look at that and you could say ‘look what we’re missing out on.’ But, what I’ve found the more I go out of town, I realize just how close we are to getting to that point. Just how easy it would be to have those other things. So, it seems like a far-off goal. It seems like these other places surrounding us are vastly different, and the reality is they’re not. All of that is within our reach.
the best is yet to come.
What do you know for sure?
I don’t know a lot, and it’s taken me a long time to come to this conclusion. But the one thing I know for sure is that the buck stops with me. Anything I do, anything I work for, anything I try to achieve — that’s on me. And if I approach something with a negative attitude or if I find myself without anything to do, or if I find something not going the way I necessarily wanted it to — sure some of those things have to do with chance — but a vast majority of that is on me. I can change that attitude, and I can change those perceptions, and I can take things a step further and really make things work for me.