Lucky’s legend lives on in village biz

— Dan Stenham’s dad was a special agent for the FBI. While all FBI operatives are called “special agents,” Don Stenham was truly special.

“He worked as a fed for 25 years,” Dan recalled, “and for nine of those years he was undercover posing as a member of the Mafia.”

Don Stenham died in 1991 at the youthful age of 51. The lawman — who had worked out of the U.S. Justice Department’s Syracuse office for 20 years — succumbed to complications from a brain tumor.

So this month when his son, Dan, opened a combination pawn shop and wireless telephone store at 612 Oswego St., at the corner of Tulip Street here in Liverpool, he decided to name the business after his late father.

“His undercover alias was Lucky Cataldo,” Dan said.

And so the name of the business is Lucky’s Gold & Wireless.

Gold & Wireless

The gold refers to the shop’s pawnbroking function.

“We buy gold, silver, diamonds, old coins, pretty much anything of value,” Dan said. He pointed to a couple solid-body electric guitars hanging on the wall. “We’re also interested in electronics, computers, watches and musical instruments.”

Well-stocked glass cases display all sorts of cell phones, smart phones and accessories, and Lucky’s pawning capability even spills over into the wireless department.

“People who want to pre-pay for their cell phone service can do it here,” Dan said, “and we’re the only wireless business, as far as I know, that will take payment from its customers in gold or silver or other valuables.”

Dan’s partner at Lucky’s Gold & Wireless is his brother-in-law, Al Alpuerto. Al is married to Dan’s sister, Kristine.

Speaking of family, Dan’s mom, Anne Stenham, recently retired after 25 years as an executive secretary for the town of Clay. Now she spends plenty of time checking in with her son and son-in-law at the shop named after her late husband.

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