Jacksonville Man Pawns Urn Containing Mother's Ashes
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- If you're going to work at a pawn shop, you'd better be ready for anything.
At least that's what Charles Matthews says. He's been working as manager of Cash Today Pawn on Beach Boulevard for two years.
If folks need some extra cash, he says they'll bring in anything to pawn or sell.
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"It's kinda like a mini-Walmart," Matthews said.
He lead First Coast News on a tour of the 5,000-square-foot showroom, showing some of the more interesting items they accumulated over the years.
"Wheelchairs, prosthetic legs, dentures," he said.
And it's tough to surprise him, he says, even when things get weird.
"Someone came in and pawned a burial plot," he said.
But that's just a hole in the ground -- nothing compared to what just came in the door on Wednesday.
"This guy walks in, needs a little cash, young clean cut guy," he remembered.
Matthews says the young man said he had a job interview, and needed some quick cash to pick up some laundry.
"He brought in some broken stuff we couldn't do anything with," Matthews said.
"But then he brought in this urn."
A dark marble urn.
"Any urn has value. They sell them at funeral homes."
But this urn came with something extra.
"It's full," Matthews said. "You can pick it up, it's probably 30 pounds."
It's full of ashes -- the young man's mother to be specific.
"The urn has value, but it's mainly sentimental value. We feel strongly he'll want to come back and get this," Matthews says.
So they're holding the urn and ashes as collateral on a small, undisclosed loan.
"We just did what we could do to help him out," he said.
It's a somber and somewhat creepy reminder to be ready for anything.
"It's rough out there," Matthews said, "The economy has taken a toll on all of us."