Dan Smith of Lockeford lingered patiently in the makeshift waiting room near the vending machines. His 12-year-old son Danny Smith clutched a cardboard box stacked full of comic books from the early 1970s. Were they worth a small fortune? The pair hoped so.
"With Christmas coming up, things are rough right now. I'm hoping for $200 for the whole box," said Dan Smith. His number was called, and the father and son marched out to a table set up with a laptop, an iPad, a small jewelry scale and some magnifying glasses.
Warren Anapolsky, a graduate gemologist and appraisals expert, took a look at about four or five books, admiring their condition and their age. But in the end, Anapolsky bought just one book: a first edition "Spider-Man" comic from 1970. The price? $10.
Dan Smith and his comic books were part of a parade of items flowing through the Lodi News-Sentinel on Tuesday morning as CW31's "Good Day Sacramento" filmed an installment of "Pawn Shop Insiders."
Two experts, Anapolsky and his cousin Adam Anapolsky, examined each item brought in by an eager crowd of residents from Lodi, Galt and beyond for an episode of the popular morning show. The morning was interspersed with live TV segments, hosted by Courtney Dempsey. The worn books, postcard collections, giant bottles of Canadian whiskey and strange rabbit dolls didn't always fetch a good price, but the experts and the owners had a good time examining Lodi's treasures.
Warren and Adam Anapolsky work at California Loan & Jewelry in Sacramento, and are largely jewelry experts. They were game to check out anything Lodians had to offer.
With some items, the experts knew the exact worth.
Bo Doolittle of Lockeford brought in several dozen baseball cards from the 1950s and earlier. Among them was a Roy Campanella rookie card. That one alone was priced at $700. Doolittle left the whole set with Warren Anapolsky to sell for him to card dealers.
"I just wanted to put a price on them," he said. "I used to deal in cards. It's an expensive habit."
The experts weren't sure how to assess several items without papers or serial numbers, however.
Lenora Swearingen brought in a porcelain figurine, a hand-me-down from her grandmother who traveled extensively. A quick Google search by Adam Anapolsky revealed it was created by an Italian company, but the artist's signature was too faded to read. Swearingen planned to do further research and try again with another appraiser.
Charlene Kranich presented a memorial dish painted with scenes from the 1969 lunar landing.
"If a good offer came by, I'd sell it. But right now I'm curious to see what it would go for these days," she said.
Warren Anapolsky examined the dish, but he had never seen one like it. Kanich said she would keep searching.
But when an expert knew what he was seeing, he could offer an appraisal certificate and a price.
Lauren Nelson, Lodi Living Editor, brought in an antique mousetrap from her aunt's home.
Warren Anapolsky appraised the contraption for $37, and offered Nelson $5 to take it off her hands.
She declined to sell.
In the end, the experts picked up an old saxophone in the original case ($150), a cat clock with a ticking tail in the original box ($10) and that "Spider-Man" comic book. But dozens of Lodians picked up some new information about items in their homes, and were inspired to keep searching for answers.
Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at email@example.com.