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
via Douglas Muth / Flickr

Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Truthout.org / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet