LENDERS OF LAST RESORT
Anthony Bock takes an enormous bite of his corned- beef-on-rye, pulls himself out of his chair, and begins speaking, unconcerned with the crumbs falling from his mouth and the piece of lettuce hanging from his chin.
"You're a journalist. Ask the questions. You ever interview a lawyer before?"
"You're a lawyer?"
Bock stares back at me for several seconds before answering. He is of average height and build, and his doughy white face is almost expressionless.
"Well, never took the bar, but, yeah, I'm a lawyer. Finished with law school. UNLV. But I started doing this full-time a couple of years ago and I happen to like the business. You got more questions?"
Bock's hair is dark brown, almost black, parted in the middle. His eyes are dark and narrow, and he has a habit of looking away when he is talking. He is standing behind the counter of John's Loans, a pawnshop on North Third Street in downtown Las Vegas. His grandfather, Irving Starr, opened the store in the early 1960s. Bock, 29, has now taken over as manager and part owner.
It is mid-December, and "Seasons Greetings" is spray-painted on the store's window in seasonal snowy white. A green Christmas tree has been