Alfred Lubrano
The Philadelphia Inquirer
May 2, 2008

Carin Dillingham handed over her watch to the pawnbrokers at Society Hill Loan as if she were giving up one of her bones.

The 30-year-old bookkeeper stood pregnant, broke and sad under rows of pawned guitars hanging like curing hams from the ceiling of the ragged South Street shop. She got a $20 loan for her $200 Bulova, a gift from the Harley-Davidson Co., where she used to work.

“It feels so weird,” said Dillingham, accompanied by her fiance, Pat Lapetina, 35, an unemployed ironworker doing painting jobs on the side. The couple recently moved to South Philadelphia from Florida to build a life.

“I worked hard for this watch. I’m middle-class, not poor. I can’t believe I have to do this to buy gas.”

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