Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Walking With Ron 4

Ron handed the ring over. Gold, with a square face with one green stone embedded in the center, surrounded by 4 smaller white stones.
Ron doesn't like to come into the pawn shop with me, so he stayed out on the sidewalk while I went in.
I'm not sure why we use the Ace Pawn and Jewelery Company every time. It's certainly no different than the many other pawn shops in the immediate area. But once you begin a relationship with a certain business it's just easier to continue with them.
The jewelery department is on the ground floor of the establishment, so I walked downstairs to the pawn shop.
"Hi Rick."
"Hi Alberto, how's the wife and kids?"
"Good. Good. Hey everybody, Rick's here."
"Hey Rick!"
"Hi Rick."
"Hi Frances. Hi Maricela. How are you?"
"How's Cheryl and Keri?"
Alberto was referring to my dear sister and niece. "As well as can be expected," I replied
"And Erin and Paul?"
"They're both fine."
"And Rodney?"
"One never knows about Rodney."
"Yes, yes, so it would seem. Well, where is he."
I handed over Ron's ring with my California State I.D.
"Oh, we've missed him," Alberto said.
Alberto took the ring, fiddled with his computer looking up my account.
"Fifty again?"
"Yes," I said.
Alberto printed the claim form and I signed and initialed where required and provided a thumb print. He gave me a copy along with two twenties and a ten dollar bill.
And that was that.
I said goodbye to everyone and went upstairs.
Ron had come in the jewelery store and was looking at some gold necklaces. He wanted to buy one for "The mother of my kids," his long time female companion who had sired his son and daughter. They never married and do not currently live together.
Ron found one he liked for about $1500.00, and asked the nice Hispanic sales lady if she could write down the items serial number so when he came back he would be able to find the necklace again. He also asked about layaway payments.
I doubt very much if Ron will ever actually buy the necklace. He may buy it, but I doubt it. Ron's intentions are admirable, but money flows through Ron's fingers like water. Currently Ron has plans for buying that necklace, a moped, visiting his relatives in Baltimore, and for moving away from downtown, all of these require money, or to save money, a concept unheard of by Ron.
I've heard about the moped for the last year and a half. Going to Baltimore for about two years now, and about moving for over 5 years.
As I've earlier stated, Ron tends to procrastinate on some issues.
Our business now completed, we left Ace. I gave Ron his money and claim form.
"Thanks Man," he said. "Where you headed now?"
"Grand Central."
We crossed the Seventh Street to the bus stop and caught one headed north on Broadway. We took it to Third and got off. Across the street lay the Grand Central Public Market.
Wikipedia tells us: "The Grand Central Market is an open stall bazaar that extends along the ground floor of the Homer Laughlin Building from Broadway to Hill Street. Over 40 merchants can be found selling everything from produce to ice cream."
Opened in 1917, "The location was chosen because of its proximity to the Angel's Flight Railway allowing for easy access to the well to do citizens of Bunker Hill."
As far as food goes, you can buy almost anything at the Grand Central Market. Sawdust covering the cement floor (fifth building in the United States to have a cement floor), you can buy tacos, fish, meat, vegetables of all kinds, booze, pizza, ice cream, nachos, can openers, popcorn, and jewelry. They have a fake 99 cent store in the basement (fake meaning that it is not associated with the real 99 cent store chain, and charges pretty much anything it wants for it's merchandise. For instance I recently bought 12 rolls of toilet paper for $3.99 there. Some items are 99 cents, but not many), a check cashing facility, a bakery, you can even get a massage by some Asian people there. While returning from a field trip from the Huntington Gardens near Pasadena, Erin, Paul, Hardy, Patricia, and I had lunch there. Erin and Paul had never been at the Grand Central Market before, and were quite impressed. Paul and I had pizza. Erin had fish. The only thing they don't have at the Grand Central Market is a deli. They used to, but they don't anymore.
I miss that deli.
That day Ron bought some fried chicken and oysters (Ron's a big seafood fan), and I bought a Styrofoam box of rice, beans, cabbage, with two great big tacos on top, sold to me from some other Asian people, for $2.17 (one should always be suspious of Asian people selling Mexican food, but in this instance it turned out well), which I would use for two meals, making a total cost for each meal a mean $1.085. Not too shabby in these difficult economic times.
Ron and I took our respective purchases and continued on the final leg of our journey.
To be continued.

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