Finding hidden treasure
I am neither a treasure hunter nor a garage sale addict. However, I know some folks who treasure their garage sale outings. At least, they get some bargains that are treasures to them.
But I don’t know anyone who spent five bucks on a picture at a garage sale and then discovered the purchase actually had a hidden treasure worth $2,500 to $5,000. Now, though, I know of someone who did that—Pam Dwyer and her husband of Glendale, AZ.
I don’t know how often these folks hit the garage sales. Maybe they are regulars; maybe this was their first time. Doesn’t matter. They hit the jackpot, so to speak.
According to a news report, they purchased a picture of a horse for $5 at a garage sale in Sun City. Dwyer’s husband claims to have had a hunch they were getting something more than just a picture of a horse. Even if he was just horsing around, it worked. “I just have this gut feeling that there’s something behind that,” he said to a TV reporter. Interesting. I had a gut feeling once, but Pepto Bismol took care of it.
Sure enough, there was something behind the picture of the horse. An amazingly detailed and deftly drawn original portrait of John F. Kennedy, signed and dated 1961 by artist Carmelo Soraci. Perhaps you haven’t heard of Soraci. Apparently, Pam Dwyer wasn’t real familiar with him either. So she did some research and discovered he was an infamous forger who did time for passing false checks. He spent 21 years locked up in Dannemora Prison in New York, where he turned to stained-glass making. In time while serving time he redeemed himself by building and installing stained-glass windows in the prison chapel. He was then asked to do the same at Sing Sing Prison.
Apparently, he also did some drawing, as evidenced by the portrait found in the same frame with a horse picture. Only the picture was framed, not the artist.
Dwyer took the portrait to an appraiser, who valued it at $2,500 to $5,000. She said she probably will sell it. The news account didn’t mention whether her husband had a gut feeling about how much it would sell for.
As the TV reporter speculated, probably not at a garage sale.
Treasure can be found in unusual places and in unusual ways. But it’s really not necessary to go looking for treasure. We already know where it is. Scripture tells us that our treasure is where our heart is. And though it might be nice to stumble onto hundreds or thousands of dollars in a garage sale, I’m quite happy with the treasure of faith, family and friends. That’s where my treasure is.