Sunday, July 22, 2012 | 7:53 p.m.
While Robin Leach takes his traditional summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy, many of our Strip and Las Vegas personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. Our thanks to them all. We continue today with “Pawn Stars” star Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison.
Fame is a two-sided thing. You could never have told me three years ago when this whole crazy ride started what it would be like. Everyone wants to know how it has changed my life; it is pretty cool, and you will never find me complaining.
Perhaps the biggest change was going from being “Big Hoss” to not-so-big Hoss, as I lost more than 100 pounds since it all began. I realized that with or without fame, I wanted to be healthier and happier; I can say that has come to fruition. I have nicer cars, bikes and boats now and a new house.
My wife enjoys the fun stuff we get to do now, but at heart we are still the same kids we were before “Pawn Stars,” just nicer things and opportunities. When the show started, she and I talked about her no longer working at a retail store in the mall as the paycheck wasn’t needed. I am really happy she gets the chance to enjoy life outside the 9-to-5.
While I have met famous folks, and that is always cool, I have never been one to want to meet any idols. I’m not sure that I have any really. But meeting people (adults and mostly kids) who are struggling with post-war injuries, terminal diseases and the like has really given me a different perspective on everything.
Who would’ve ever thought anyone would want to meet me or any of us at Gold & Silver Pawn, so to be able to meet these people and put a smile on their face is really rewarding and, without a doubt, one of the more inspiring things fame has brought my way.
I like to enjoy myself, go out with the guys, have a drink, enjoy a steak and go out in the desert with the bikes. But sometimes when you are in out-of-the-way places thinking everything is like it used to be, you have to catch yourself.
Maybe watch what you say (especially if you are too many drinks in!) and realize that the guy wanting to shake your hand and meet you in the bathroom is just a fan and not someone to be worried about. I know that sounds weird, but you would be amazed at how often it happens when I’m relieving myself!
It gives me the chance to support charities that are important to my friends and to support my friends, in general, which is one of the best things about fame. Austin “Chumlee” Russell has arranged for guys who work at the pawn store to take their kids to pop concerts and meet Selena Gomez because he can -- that is an upside to all of this.
But after three years, you do crave normalcy. Sittin’ on the couch watchin’ the game and getting excused from an appearance are things I look forward to. Just bein’ me, the same old Corey as always. None of this really changes any of us; it just makes our tastes richer, our friends happier, our impact greater, and it gives me a chance to do better business, make someone’s day and drive home the adage that the most important thing in life are friends and family, plus, being a fair businessman and paying it forward when you get the chance.
I am one lucky guy, and it never escapes me. I really have Las Vegas and my dad and Pops to thank for all of this, so as I write this just after Father’s Day, I want to let them know I appreciate them and hope to always make them proud.
Our thanks to Corey for his insights from “Pawn Stars” fame. Be sure to check out our other guest columns today from Joel Robuchon’s top Las Vegas chef Steve Benjamin and Diana Palm with the behind-the-scenes secrets of “Jubilee!” at Bally’s. Join us again Monday when our guests are comedian George Wallace, “Chopped” winner chef Christina Olivarez and hospitality hero Jonathan Fine.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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