A fix for frugal times - repairing old appliances

Ike Essuman has been around Merced awhile, and he has watched the economy take a dive.

Because of the economy, Essuman has changed his business just a bit. He has been in Merced for 15 years, selling all types of appliances at his business, Ike's Appliances and Repair, and doing well at it.

But now, Essuman said, a lot of people can't afford to buy new appliances, so he decided to get into the repair and used appliance business, along with selling new appliances.

Essuman came from Africa 34 years ago. He tried to get an education at California State University, Stanislaus. But because it was so expensive, he decided to change the course of his studies.

"I worked for an electric company here in town," Essuman said. "So I went to a college where they teach air conditioning repair."

But just knowing how to fix things didn't help Essuman a lot. He couldn't find a job, so he decided to start fixing appliances in his garage.