Loren didn’t have much money and was living in an old shack with his girlfriend. He was a carpenter, but sadly, he lost his leg in an accident and was no longer able to work. When his grandmother died, he went to go pick up his inheritance, but there was nothing there. By the time Loren got to the house, his mom and sister had already cleaned it out.
The only thing left behind was a smelly old blanket, but he decided to take it anyways. To his surprise, that blanket ended up changing his life. However, when his sister finally came out of the woodwork, things started to get messy. She decided she wanted that blanket back.
A Hard Pill To Swallow
Loren was outside the unemployment office feeling devastated and humiliated. He was a proud man who spent his entire life working hard. But he was out of work and didn’t have much of a choice. He didn’t want to sit there arguing, trying to convince people that he was eligible for disability. It was tough, but Loren knew that his circumstances weren’t his fault.
After taking a deep breath, Loren held his head high and walked into the building. The embarrassing meeting started off with a bunch of questions until Loren put his leg on the table. As soon as he showed the metal prosthetic, the questions stopped, and the man got his money and left.
During this dark, depressing time, Loren just imagined how much easier things would be if he had the support of his family. Unfortunately, all they did was stress him out even more, especially his sister. It’s a shame he didn’t have loved ones around, but Loren was already used to it. He knew there was no point to even try and reach out.
The only family member he had a good relationship with was his grandma. He got his love for reading from her; she had a massive collection of books. She always told him that when she passes, he can have all of the books. But he never wanted to think about that.
Loved His Job
Standing at six foot seven, Loren is a pretty big guy, and he earned the nickname Big LT. Back in high school, he was a football player and often thought about pursuing an athletic career. However, he also had a creative mind with a talent for woodwork. Ultimately, he chose to work with his creative side.
After finishing school, Loren started his own little business as a freelance carpenter. Things were going great for several years. He had a great reputation around town for having a good work ethic, and his modest business was thriving. His hard work was paying off.
Loren enjoyed his job, but there was one thing missing. After growing up constantly fighting with his sister, all he wanted was to have a loving family. He dreamed about having a warm, peaceful, calming home. Loren never really understood what he did to make his sister hate him so much, but unfortunately, that was the situation.
All of his earliest memories were terrible fights between him and his only sibling. He learned how loving families treated each other from going to his friends’ houses… and he never wanted to go back to his own house. A lot of siblings grow out of their rivalries, but Loren’s sister’s hatred for her brother remained.
For No Reason
After Loren’s sister left home, the siblings had cut off all ties. On the rare occasions that they did see each other, they didn’t speak much. After a minute of talking, she starts to insult her little brother. The strange part was that there didn’t seem to be a reason. It made no sense, and Loren could not understand what her problem was.
It couldn’t have been jealousy. I mean, she was financially well-off, and happily married with kids. Loren had no choice but to put aside the negative and live his own life. Deep down, he still loved her; he knew if there was some kind of serious emergency, he would be there for her. He figured that she would do the same for him.
A Happy Family
After being in business for about two years, Loren’s girlfriend and her children moved in with him. This was everything he ever wanted: a loving family to come home to. Everything was going great for a while; Loren was over the moon with the joy of being surrounded by loved ones.
He wasn’t making too much money at that time, and his girlfriend had a part-time job. They couldn’t save a lot and lived a modest lifestyle. But none of that mattered; what was important was that they were together, and they were happy. Sadly, one day, everything came crashing down.
Just Another Day
One evening, Loren was driving his truck down the country road. It was raining, and the driving conditions weren’t great. But Loren was a good driver and had a lot of experience on that road. He was driving at a normal and reasonable speed. However, he got sensory overload in one single instant.
The unsafe weather was dangerous to drive in, even for the most experienced drivers. Loren was turning a corner, and suddenly, he heard screeching tires and a horn honking. He then saw bright lights and realized a speeding car was coming right towards him from the opposite direction.
The Scene of the Crime
Loren quickly turned the wheel to prevent crashing into the other car. But terrifyingly, his truck flipped over and landed upside down in a ditch. The other driver didn’t bother to stop. Loren felt an extreme amount of pain in his ankle. He saw lights and heard some voices.
Thankfully, someone dragged him out of the car, and he was sent to the hospital in an ambulance. Everything was happening so fast, and he had no idea what was going on. He didn’t know how much time has gone by and didn’t have the time to process the events that led to the car accident.
He Got Badly Injured
Loren’s foot was terrible. It got completely crushed in the accident. Loren could still recall holding his girlfriend’s hand as he was lying in the hospital bed, listening to the doctor’s prognosis. That’s when he felt like his life was over; it was like watching his entire world go down the drain.
He ended up being in recovery for a year. He had regular sessions with a dialysis machine, but still, his destroyed foot brought complications. Then one fateful day, the doctor came in to deliver some bad news. He immediately burst into tears with his girlfriend right by his side.
Accepting the Truth
Later that week, Loren’s leg amputation was carried out. Sadly, he had no other choice. Basically, the several fractures and nerve damage in his foot led to a horrible infection, and the doctors weren’t able to get rid of it. Since the infection could lead to more serious health complications and even death, his only option was to cut off his foot.
After the life-changing operation, Loren actually felt an itch on his foot. But when he leaned down to scratch it, his leg wasn’t there. Not only was an essential part of his body gone, but Loren felt as though his mind was playing tricks on him. Needless to say, this was a devastating time for Loren. The term is called phantom limb, by the way.
No Money, A lot of Problems
After spending so much time in the hospital, his business eventually vanished. Sadly, Loren was no longer capable of getting back up and running. That’s when Loren was forced to go to the unemployment office for the first time. Due to his situation, he was entitled to get disability checks, but getting those people to pay you was like pulling teeth.
Because of how things were going financially, Loren’s girlfriend had to send her kids to live in another state with her grandmother. It looked like they were going to be homeless for a while. He explained, “I mean, what do you do? I had kids to take care of, no money, you know? Nothing saved up or anything like that.”
His Family Didn’t Care
The most depressing part of this whole situation was that he didn’t get a visit or even a phone call from his big sister. At least his mom checked on her son a couple of times. With no real support from his family, things were looking really low for Loren. But then, a friend threw a lifeline his way.
As it turns out, his friend owned a little shack right outside of the city. He let Loren live there with his girlfriend for $700 a month. Although he got a good price, the couple only had $200 left to live off of. But it was just enough.
An Empty House
Lauren found out that his grandmother passed away when her lawyer gave him a call. He informed Loren that she didn’t leave a will, but he was more than welcome to come to the house and collect some of her stuff. He took the trip to her house, which brought up some happy memories. He was excited to get his books.
However, he was stunned when he got there. He realized that everything in the house was already gone. For a moment, he thought that maybe she was robbed. But after making a few phone calls, he found out his mother and sister had already been there. They took everything.
This Old Thing
Loren was disappointed that his sister didn’t leave him the books. She knew he loved reading and that he was supposed to get them. His sister didn’t even like books. He went all the way over there for nothing. And that’s when he noticed that there was an old gym bag left in a corner.
When he opened it, he saw an old raggedy blanket inside with an unusual striped design on it. It was dusty and smelled like it had been in that bag for years. His sister didn’t consider taking the seemingly worthless blanket, but at least Loren had something to remember his grandmother by.
Just Watching TV
Loren’s girlfriend wasn’t so excited about having that dirty blanket in the house. She decided to wash it and then stuffed it in the closet. After that, the blanket didn’t cross either one of their minds for the next seven years. One random day, Loren was watching TV, and the Antiques Road Show was on.
He saw something that he couldn’t believe. There was an old man on the show who brought his old blanket in so the expert can evaluate it. Loren’s immediate reaction was that it looked oddly similar to his old blanket – the one he took from his grandmother’s house years earlier.
Could it Be?
When Loren heard the price, he was just as shocked as the old man on his TV screen. Before getting too excited, Loren rushed into the closet to get his blanket and held it up so that he could compare it to the one on the screen. The blankets matched! Loren called his girlfriend right away to tell her that he thinks that blanket could be worth some money.
Understandably, his girlfriend was skeptical. Who can blame her? I mean, why would some old blanket have any value? But Loren was curious. He told her that he was gonna take a drive and give his mom a visit. He needed to know more about that blanket.
Stopping by Mama’s House
After his grandmother passed away, Loren’s mom moved into her house, and that’s where she had been living. When he got there, he showed his mom the blanket, who had a very similar reaction to his girlfriend’s. She kind of shrugged it off and told him he would be lucky to get ten dollars off of that thing.
Loren’s mom had a box in her bedroom filled with old family photos, and he asked her if he can take a look through them. She agreed, and as he was looking through pictures, he found exactly what he was looking for. There was a photo of his great-great-grandfather working at a trading post in North Dakota-taken over 150 years ago.
Loren didn’t know where to start, but he wanted to figure out how much his blanket was actually worth. He started downtown at the local pawn shop. When he got there, the store was really busy. When the guy working there took a look at the blanket, he offered Loren $50 for it.
Loren thanked him but left the store with his blanket. He noticed how the man’s face lit up when he saw the blanket, which confirmed there was something special about it. Loren trusted his gut and really left like this blanket was valuable. He wasn’t going to give up that easily.
An Expert’s Opinion
Loren decided that if he wanted the blanket to get the respect he thought it deserved, he needs to take it to some kind of specialist. He went online and found on. It didn’t take him long to come across a family-run auction business. He thought maybe these people would appreciate his old blanket.
After taking the trip to the auction business, he knew he was in the right place. He looked around and saw shelves full of interesting looking antiques and books. The simplest things seemed to hold a lot of value. Loren went into the office, and that’s where he met Jeff.
Jeff was the man who ran the family business, and Loren was confident that he would give his blanket a fair look. The guy had reference books on the shelves, and it was clear that this guy was an expert. If anyone knows what that blanket is worth, it’s got to be Jeff.
When Jeff invited Loren into his office, Loren noticed it was small and stuffed with architecture, antiques, and so much more. Loren carefully took the blanket out of the bag and unrolled it on the desk, so the expert can get a good look at it.
Don’t Get Too Excited
Jeff was used to getting disappointed, like many people who work with antiques. People all around the country watch antique shows on TV and suddenly think their boxes in the attic are filled with valuable ornaments. But usually, they aren’t worth much.
Even though antique shows give off the impression that anything can be worth thousands of dollars and you don’t even know it, in reality, it’s rare to come across something that holds real value. So when Jeff agreed to look at the old rug, he didn’t have such high expectations. But as soon as he saw it, the store owner was in disbelief.
The Background Story
Jeff couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the striking colors and close weave. After learning about this kind of blanket in books, he never thought he would actually get to see one himself. Jeff gently ran his hand over the blanket so that he could feel the texture.
Jeff kept his excitement under control because he knew it might just be a fake. That’s when he asked Loren to tell him the story behind it. Loren told the antique expert that it has been in the family for generations and that his grandmother left it for him when she died.
Getting His Hope Up
Loren went as far as to show Jeff the old pictures he found at his mom’s house. Because of the history behind it, Jeff was starting to think that this was the real deal. Although he was an expert, Jeff felt as though he wasn’t qualified enough to identify this type of craft.
To get a more accurate value, he would have to send it to someone who specializes in weaving and textiles. Luckily, he knew someone who worked at the local university. He asked Loren if it would be okay for him to send it to get tested. Loren agreed and went back home.
The Waiting Game
For the next few days, Loren was nervously waiting in anticipation. He prayed that the blanket was worth something; it would help him relieve so much stress. After his sister cheated him out of his inheritance, Loren hasn’t seen or spoken to her. Just thinking about what she did made him upset.
She couldn’t cut him a break? He already lost his leg, trying to make it on unemployment checks, and he had to watch his girlfriend drive to work in an old beat-up car. His biggest dream was to buy a house and bring the kids back to live with them. But it didn’t seem like it would ever happen. Until he got a phone call…
When he answered the phone, it was Jeff calling about the blanket. He asked Loren if he could come into his office and pick up the blanket. Loren was disappointed. Maybe the blanket wasn’t worth anything, after all. He felt so let down that he took his time driving to the antique business.
Loren’s girlfriend joined him on the way to Jeff’s office, and he was reminded that he should be grateful for what he does have. Even if the blanket wasn’t worth any money, it was worth something to him because it came from his grandma. That was enough.
What’s it Worth?
Sitting across from Jeff, Loren saw the excitement in his face. Confused, Loren was starting to get his hopes up again. Jeff placed the blanket in between the two of them, after taking it out of a protective case. Loren asked Jeff if he found anything out about the blanket.
Loren said the only reason he thought anything of the old rug was because of a similar one he saw on TV. Otherwise, he probably wouldn’t have brought it to Jeff in the first place. That’s when Jeff told Loren that the reason these blankets are so valuable is because of the history behind them.
In the middle of the 17th century, the Navajo had started making their own wool, and the Navajo craftswomen became well-known and famous for their incredible weaving skills. Back in the day, the Spanish and other Native American tribes sought after those blankets.
The reason these blankets were so praised was because of the way they were made. They were woven so tightly, that they basically became waterproof. Some people used them as coats during the day, and as blankets at night. They were also made much lighter than the regular blankets. They were definitely something everyone wanted to get their hands on at the time.
Worth As Much as a House
What added to the value of the blankets is their beauty. Because of the high price, they were known as ‘chiefs’ blankets. No one else could really afford one of them. Experts say that in 1830, the price of these blankets could reach $150. To put things into perspective, at the time, a house cost $200.
Loren was stunned, and his mind was racing. Is it possible that this blanket could be worth as much as a house? However, the more important question was, is this blanket an actual Navajo artifact? Because there are plenty of fakes out there.
Jeff happily told Loren that not only was his blanket authentic, but his was especially unique. Apparently, the Navajo Blankets that had the striped design on them – like Loren’s – were called ‘First Phase’ blankets. This specific type was considered more beautiful, expensive, and rare.
Back then, there weren’t many, but in modern times, less than 50 First Phase Navajo blankets are known to have survived. And luckily, there are a lot of rich people out there, hoping to buy one. Loren and his girlfriend were ecstatic and gripped each other’s hands. Maybe this blanket can really help their family get back on track.
Want to Sell it?
When Jeff asked Loren if he’s interested in selling the blanket, he immediately said yes. He wondered if it would be morally right to sell the only thing he had left of his grandmother, but he ultimately wanted to sell it. He needed the money, and he knew his grandmother would want him to get something out of it.
He had gone through so much and has been struggling for a while. He couldn’t even remember what it feels like not to have to worry. He was confident that she would be happy with his decision because all she ever wanted was to see her grandson happy.
Loren spent a lot of time on the business’ website in the weeks leading up to the auction. He saw where the upcoming auction was displayed, and it also showed the item expected to go on sale. When he noticed the number of comments under the list, he was starting to understand how important that blanket really is.
One week before the blanket went up for auction, Loren got a very mysterious phone call. The guy on the other end of the line offered him $200,000 for the blanket right then and there – before the auction. That is a significant amount of money that would really help Loren out.
Loren took down the man’s number and told him he would think about it. I mean, that amount of money tempting, and it seemed crazy not to take it. Loren gave Jeff a call to tell him that he was thinking about pulling out of the auction, but Jeff had a strong reaction.
Jeff asked Loren where he lived and asked him if he would be willing to meet at the Pizza Hut right by his house. Loren was confused and felt like he was in some kind of spy movie. He was curious to hear what this was about and agreed to meet him. He went over to Pizza Hut and waited in his car.
Jeff pulled up and greeted Loren. He promised him that if he just stayed on course and sell the blanket at the auction, he won’t regret it. Then, Jeff gave him an envelope saying it was an advance. Loren opened the envelope and gasped when he looked inside.
Jeff just gave him $9,000 in cash. It was less than $200,000, but it proved that Jeff really had faith in the value of that blanket. Loren trusted Jeff and decided to continue with their original plan. He agreed to take the blanket to the auction in a week.
The Big Day
On the day of the highly anticipated auction, Loren got there early with his girlfriend. Loren was in amazement when he looked at the large variety of valuable historic items all around the room. Everything laid out on the tables had some historical significance.
Visitors came to check out all the items before the auction started so that they knew exactly what they wanted to bid for. The auction organizers appeared excited to see Loren – it was Jeff and one other familiar face. It took Loren a minute, but he quickly realized who this other guy was.
That’s Where I Know You From
As it turns out, it was the same expert he saw on the Antiques Roadshow. The same guy who saw the value of that old man’s blanket on TV. The three of them carefully opened the blanket up and covered the table with it. Loren saw the TV expert’s face and how impressed he was by the item.
People stated to browse all the available antiques, and Loren proudly stayed next to his blanket with his girlfriend by his side. As people kept flooding in, they both noticed how their blanket was garnering more attention than anything else up for auction.
Let the Auction Begin
At one point, the auctioneer went to the podium and asked for everyone’s attention. The buyers took their seats, and the auction finally began. The items were displayed individually, and the auctioneer would call out a price.
Some items were sold at their original price, and sometimes, the auctioneer had to lower the price to sell an item. But when it came to more exciting auctions, people got into bidding wars. But Loren definitely wasn’t prepared for what was going to with his blanket. Realistically, how much money would someone actually pay for that old thing?
Moment Of Uncertainty
Two employees held up the blanket, and Loren saw the look of appreciation in the eyes of the buyers in the crowd. They set the blanket down, and the auctioneer announced the price, starting at $150,000. Loren got worried for a minute. What if no one would bid?
Maybe it would have been a better idea to have taken the $200,000 when he had the chance. But then, the auctioneer opened the floor and bidding began. Loren was a nervous wreck, but his anxiety quickly turned into disbelief. People were actually bidding. It suddenly seemed like he had nothing to worry about.
A card was immediately raised for the $150,000 bid. Then, someone raised a card for $250,000. When he saw a card for $250,000, Loren was extremely happy. He knew he made the right decision. But the bidding didn’t stop there. Suddenly, a card was up for $300,000 and then $350,000.
Once the price reached an astonishing half a million dollars, most of the bidders began dropping out. Eventually, the battle was down to two people. A woman who was bidding over the phone and a man – the same expert Loren saw on TV, who gave him the idea to look into the value of the blanket.
Do I Hear $1.5 Million?
The bid went up to $750,000 and then $900,000. Loren was in complete shock, but there was no way it could reach a million dollars. Right? Just then, the woman on the phone rose her bid, and the auctioneer announced “one million dollars!”
He then went on to say, “Do I hear one million and one?” He did. So he asked, “One million and two?” Cards continued to raise for $1.3 million and $1.4 million. The auctioneer then announced, “One million and one.” That’s when the expert from TV stopped raising his card. It was getting too expensive.
The auctioneer finally announced, “Sold for one million, five hundred thousand dollars.” The crowd applauded, and Loren was still in complete and utter shock. He thought this was some kind of dream. I mean, he basically just won the lottery.
Loren explained, “They had to bring over water and stuff to me and wipe the sweat off my head. I started hyperventilating because I couldn’t believe it.” What’s even more shocking is how fast everything happened. The entire process took less than two minutes – 77 seconds, to be exact.
Loren and his girlfriend were crying tears of joy. Even Jeff was close to tears. Jeff explained how that doesn’t often happen: “This has only happened maybe three or four times… You can tell that you’re looking for something that is just uncommonly beautiful, but that is still very much part of the time in which it was made.”
Loren ended up getting $1.3 million of the money. That evening, when he got home to his shack, he and his girlfriend celebrated with a glass of wine. They spent the whole night excitedly planning how they were going to spend the money. Then, the phone rang…
Loren’s mom was on the other line of phone. She saw the auction all over the news. He thought she was calling to congratulate him, but that wasn’t exactly what was going on. His mother quickly shattered his illusion when she told him she called to tell him his sister was mad.
Loren couldn’t understand why he couldn’t just be left alone. Yes, it was a large amount of money, but the blanket didn’t belong to his sister. She didn’t want that old thing and purposely left it in the house. Then his mom told Loren that his sister plans to take him to court over the money.
She Doesn’t Stand A Chance
Can’t she just leave her brother alone? He couldn’t be happy for one day without his sister ruining it. He decided to call up his grandmother’s lawyer; maybe he could help him out. After hearing the story, the lawyer starting cracking up. Loren had no idea what was so funny.
The lawyer explained the Loren that he was laughing because no judge in the world would listen to her claim, given the circumstances. She had no case. But Loren didn’t find it funny at all. He couldn’t handle the thought of a lawsuit. Even if he did have a good chance of winning, he didn’t want to waste all the auction money on a lawyer.
Happy Ever After
Just one week later, Loren got another call from his mother. This time, it was to tell him that his sister decided to drop the lawsuit. She most likely asked for legal advice and discovered that she doesn’t stand a chance. Loren finally felt a sense of relief. He no longer has financial difficulties, and nobody could take his happiness away from him.
So, do you want to know what Loren did with the money? First, he gave his girlfriend a beautiful wedding ceremony. He also bought two houses, invested in some stocks, bought a Harley Davidson, and a new car. He also took his wife and her kids on a cruise to Mexico. It’s nice to see him enjoy his life after all the struggles he’s been through.