By Stephen Tool, MCIN Staff
“By golly, if you don’t see it, ask,” That’s one of the first things you’ll hear from Danny Moss, owner of Wee Hawk Pawn, after you step into the door. Stepping into Wee Hawk, takes you into a world that’s part museum and part old curiosity shop.
Wee Hawk, located at 522 5th St. in Hawthorne, isn’t even a large building, but seems to contain the whole world within.
Stuffed wild game heads dot the wall high above the service counter while on the opposite wall guitars, beautiful miniature replicas of old timey automobiles and a plethora of other items compete for customer attention.
Behind the service counter, serene as the Buddha, sits Danny Moss. It’s not “Hardcore Pawn.”
“Hardcore Pawn is totally TV hype,” Moss says. “I’ve had a lot of people come in here and tell me they have a special room just built for the filming.
They tell me it’s not any more impressive than any other place. They were so disappointed.”
Moss has spent 20 years in the business and this is his third building in Hawthorne. “I do pretty good business here. You have to be careful, or you can can buy yourself into the poorhouse.”
Sometimes Moss gets overwhelmed by the amounts of DVDs people are willing to pawn. He does buy games, which he says are good sellers. He doesn’t take clothes and only buys furniture pieces if they are authentic antiques.
To stay in good reputation Moss requests photo identification from people selling their items. I fax it to the police to make sure. The first question I ask someone selling is: “Do you own this?”
Moss says the most unusual item he buys are dentures. “I get them in on occasion,” he laughs. Some of the partials even have a little good-quality gold in them. I put it on the scale and weigh it out. One fella popped them straight out of his mouth!”
A one-legged turkey, a pot-bellied pig and an iguana are among other unusual purchases.
One of the mounted heads on the wall looks African in origin. It is in fact, Moss says, an Oryx, an antelope species native to Africa. He hopes to sell it to Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shops, national sporting goods retailers. Moss has also bought stuffed bear, raccoon and coyote.
Walking around Wee Hawk, one sees enough musical equipment to outfit a rock ‘n’ roll band; enough woodworking tools for a small cabinet shop, not to mention hundreds of curios and DVD movies galore.
Moss smiles after handing out his business card and says, “If you don’t see it, ask.”