Loren Krytzer was a carpenter and a pretty good one at that. He was successful as a freelancer, and people came to him for their woodworking needs. However, that all came to an abrupt end when he was involved in an almost fatal car accident. Doctors gave him five years to live, and after medical complications, his foot was amputated. He wasn’t to know that an old Navajo blanket could save his life.
However, despite his amputation and clear disability, he was denied disability benefits. This happened multiple times until he couldn’t afford to house his children any more. he sent them to live with their grandparents in Louisiana.
His disability finally came through, but after his rent had come out he had only $200 a month to live on. His girlfriend had a job, but it didn’t amount to much more after their living costs.
However, his luck was soon to change. Sat at home, he was watching Antiques Roadshow when he saw an old man selling a First Phase Navajo blanket. To the man’s shock, it was valued at $500,000. Krytzer checked his cupboard straight away, and sure enough, there was an old Navajo blanket that he had inherited from his grandmother.
When going through his grandmother’s things after her death, neither his mother nor sister wanted the blanket, so he had taken it home. It had spent seven years in his closet. Krytzer believed it could be worth $5-10,000, but his mother disagreed. She thought it was worthless, and only worth $10 or so.
Multiple antique dealers turned down the blanket until he went to John Moran Auctioneers. They persuaded him to put it up for auction, and ignore the bids in the range of $10,000 he had from private buyers. They ended up giving him an advance of $9,000 to calm his nerves.
That was just the start. The Navajo blanket went under the hammer, and it turned out to be one of the rarest in the world. The chief’s blanket started bidding at $150,000, but after 77 seconds of the auction, it sold for $1.5 million. Krytzer walked away with $1.3 million after fees.
He ignored calls from distant relatives asking for money, and his sister even tried to sue him. But, he made some shrewd investments in stocks and bought two houses. One to live in, and one to rent out. He also treated himself to a well-deserved new car and motorcycle.
“I firmly believe I’m here because years ago I turned my life around,” he said. “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.”
That old Navajo blanket may have saved this man’s life. He knows the money will run out eventually, but now he has a steady income of rent payments to keep him surviving. He also plans on getting a part-time job.
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