It’s 2 p.m. on a Thursday at A-Universal Pawn shop in Egypt Lake-Leto.
80s pop music is playing softly on the radio. Signed photos of Ben Affleck and Kevin Costner hang on the wall by the door, and guitars hover above glass jewelry cabinets.
Rick Evans, the shop owner, is talking with a regular customer about how to transform an earring into a belly ring for her.
After the busy rush subsides, his pawn shop is empty for about an hour.
Evans and his mother sit in matching gray recliners and drink coffee, as they do every Thursday together, to catch their breath before the next wave of customers.
Evans said he’s seen a lot of new faces in his shop lately, and heard a lot of talk about making ends meet.
“Everybody is talking about the rising prices, ” Evans said. “They’re talking about, you know, deciding whether or