GOOD

Penniless Man Sold A 175-Year-Old Navajo Blanket For $1.5 Million

He had been living on $200 a month.

Six years ago, Loren Krytzer was down on his luck, to say the least. The onetime carpenter was forced to live on a paltry disability check each month after losing his foot in a car accident. After paying $700 in rent in Leona Valley, California, “LT,” as he is known by his friends, was left with only $200 a month for basic living expenses. He was in such financial straits, he moved his children to Louisiana to live with their grandmother.

One night in 2011, Krytzer turned on “Antiques Roadshow” on PBS and saw a man’s First Phase Navajo blanket valued at $500,000. He couldn’t believe it was appraised for so much money because it looked similar to an old blanket he inherited from his great-grandmother. “I paused [the TV] and I went and got the blanket and I’m sitting there holding it,” he told CNBC. “I’m lining up the lines on the TV with the blanket, seeing if they match.”


Image via JohnMoranAuctions/YouTube.

Krytzer took the blanket to John Moran auction house in Monrovia, California, where he gave a detailed history of the textile. It was passed down from his great-great-great-grandfather John Chantland in the 1800s. In 2012, the auction house determined it was one of the finest and rarest Navajo chief’s blankets in the world and put it up for auction with a $150,000 opening bid.

Image via JohnMoranAuctions/YouTube.

When the auction began, Krytzer’s blanket climbed from $150,000 to $500,000 to $1 million, and he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. “They had to bring over water and stuff to me and wipe sweat off my head,” Krytzer recalled. “I started hyperventilating because I couldn’t believe it. … Everything just went limp and I couldn’t catch my breath.”

The blanket was won by “Antiques Roadshow” host, Don Ellis, the same man who appraised the blanket Krytzer saw on TV the year before. The final price: $1.5 million.

Before Krytzer collected his money, Moran sat him down with a CPA to explain the time-value of money. After collecting his check, LT was sensible, investing his cash in two homes and stocks and municipal bonds. Although he did have some fun by purchasing a 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8. “I firmly believe I’m here because years ago I turned my life around,” he told CNBC. “The things I’ve been through, I tell people it’s a strong faith and a strong mind. Without those things you’re not going to make it.”

Money
Screenshot via Sweden.se/Twitter (left) Wikimedia Commons (right)

Greta Thunberg has been dubbed the "Joan of Arc of climate change" for good reason. The 16-year-old activist embodies the courage and conviction of the unlikely underdog heroine, as well as the seemingly innate ability to lead a movement.

Thunberg has dedicated her young life to waking up the world to the climate crisis we face and cutting the crap that gets in the way of fixing it. Her speeches are a unique blend of calm rationality and no-holds-barred bluntness. She speaks truth to power, dispassionately and unflinchingly, and it is glorious.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less
Science

The disappearance of 40-year-old mortgage broker William Earl Moldt remained a mystery for 22 years because the technology used to find him hadn't been developed yet.

Moldt was reported missing on November 8, 1997. He had left a nightclub around 11 p.m. where he had been drinking. He wasn't known as a heavy drinker and witnesses at the bar said he didn't seem intoxicated when he left.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Gage Skidmore

The common stereotypes about liberals and conservatives are that liberals are bleeding hearts and conservatives are cold-hearted.

It makes sense, conservatives want limited government and to cut social programs that help the more vulnerable members of society. Whereas liberals don't mind paying a few more dollars in taxes to help the unfortunate.

A recent study out of Belgium scientifically supports the notion that people who scored lower on emotional ability tests tend to have right-wing and racist views.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics