Jimmie DeRamus is what you might call a living Louisiana legend. His family-owned business, Silver Dollar Pawn and Jewelry, in Alexandria, LA will be the focus of The History Channel’s Cajun Pawn Stars. So what makes Jimmie, known as “Big Daddy,” a show-worthy person? It turns out there’s so much it’s hard to list ‘em all!
Jimmie has built up one of the largest pawn shops in the world as Silver Dollar boasts a 20,000 square-foot showroom that houses over 100,000 items. What really stands out about those eye-popping numbers is the incredible amount of fascinating and extremely rare collectibles contained within. As Jimmie explains, “Were kind of a museum where you can buy things.”
Among the unique and historical items you’ll find is the hearse used to transport Martin Luther King Jr. and the handcuffs that were put on Rosa Parks.
Check out this local news report featuring Jimmie as he talks about his family and store:
As the report stated Jimmie has been at this for over 25 years and you get a taste for some of his business savvy when he mentions that, “There will be some on camera person in the store, every hour that we’re open.” Mr. DeRamus comes across as a man who is well aware of what doing a show will be about and how he can use the notoriety to help his bottom line.
From the following two clips you can get a great taste of what Jimmie is like and how folks around his hometown recognize him. They’re both videos Silver Dollar has uploaded and they feature DeRamus making his best pitch. This first one has Jimmie encouraging you to store your items at his business while you’re on vacation. Dang he’s smart!
Jimmie can rattle off a lot in a 30 second ad:
“Whether it’s guns, tools, equipment, gold, silver, sterling or antique, fine jewelry and diamonds, any reason is a good reason at Silver Dollar Pawn and Jewelry Center.”
And here’s another that features what is sure to become one of reality’s most beloved hair styles:
The show has been a long time coming for Jimmie and he’s been careful in how it not only portrays his family and business but how it can benefit the Central Louisiana economy. He began working on Cajun Pawn Stars back in Jan of 2010 and he’s been hard headed about insuring that the show displays the region and state in a, “very, very positive manner.”
Here is an image of Silver Dollar Pawn via their Facebook page:
Just for a taste of what to expect and how Jimmie DeRamus rolls in the very first episode he makes a half-a-million dollar offer for old $10,000 and $5,000 bank notes! For the first time in the business’ history he shuts down the store and hires armed guards because of the value of the transaction.
Jimmie told Town Talk that he’s kept his private life private mostly but that the show will focus quite a bit on his French heritage and his family’s dynamic.
“We’re revealing a lot more about our family, our background and kind of peeling back some layers that we’ve never felt comfortable about letting the public know. We’ve always had the business persona and tried to keep our private lives totally separate.”
I found one article via CenLamar that cites an older write-up from Town Talk that reflects on a tragic part of Jimmie’s past. According to the report Jimmie’s son Chad was killed in a plane crash. The small Piper plane was also carrying Jimmie, his wife Peggy and Jenny DeRamus. According to CenLamar Chad was a ranked professional billiards player.
I’m guessing we’ve got ourselves a major new star on our hands in the form of Mr. Jimmie DeRamus. The show has all the makings of a hit but if it doesn’t pan out that way I don’t think it will change the man one bit.
“We’re still the same family, were still the same people, we’ll have the same friends, we’ll see our friends, we’re not gonna change.”
Cajun Pawn Stars will premiere on The History Channel on Sunday, Jan 8 at 10PM EST.
Want to keep up with all things Jimmie DeRamus and Cajun Pawn Stars? Then hop over to Facebook and like his fan page!