With all of the interest in reality TV, one might pass by the local pawn stores and wonder how much of their activity resembles that of shows like “Pawn Stars,” or “Hardcore Pawn.” Jon White of Frontier Pawn is a third-generation pawn broker. “My grandfather [James White] started the pawn shop in Porter in 1983 and it is still open today. My father [Marcus White] bought the shop in Humble from him in 2002. I have been working there ever since.” White admits working in a pawn shop can be a roller coaster ride from one day to the next. “The nature of our business every day presents a unique opportunity for friction. There is always the idea a person has of what a product is valued at ... and it doesn’t always match up to what we will be able to sell it for. But we treat our customers as nicely as possible and weeks pass without anyone getting upset.” Frontier Pawn, located at 1301 First Street East, has been a part of the community since 2001 and is the proud sponsor of local youth soccer and softball teams. Frontier Pawn buys jewelry, musical instruments, tools and electronics, but they specialize in guns. White mused over his amazing finds, “I’ve taken in Colt pistols from the 1800s, and I’ve taken in signature sports memorabilia. I actually have an Oilers helmet signed by Bum Phillips and Earl Campbell for sale.” However, there are instances when someone brings in a strange item to pawn. “I had somebody try to pawn a headstone one time. It wasn’t etched yet, but it was just a little weird, so I didn’t buy it.” Typically, 78 percent of Frontier Pawn’s items get redeemed by the customers who brought them in, according to White. “With gas prices what they are and grocery bills spiraling out of control, it’s just harder and harder for some families to make it from one paycheck to the next. So if people can take out a loan on their item, come back in and pick it up with a little bit of interest on payday, well that’s definitely the best option for them. It’s definitely less costly then over-drafting their bank account. And, it’s an easy process,” White said. White noted that visitors to the shop will be pleasantly surprised. “You have no idea what someone’s brought in recently, and the fact that we put out new merchandise every day only adds to the mystique and intrigue with most people. They want to see what’s new. If they can walk in here and see a Colt pistol that was made in 1895, what other store can they do that at?” They are open  Monday  through Friday, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m - 6 p.m. On Sundays they are open 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. For more information, call 281-540-2274. Cutline: Jon White of Frontier Pawn in Humble says the store receives a lot of unique items, such as this Texans helmet signed by Matt Schaub and Oilers helmet signed by both Bum Phillips and Earl Campbell. Photo by Patsy Oliver

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