Was this a joke? Could his eyes be deceiving him? He had no money on him, but he had to buy it. But he wasn’t sure if that was who he thought it was. He would have felt silly if he was mistaken, but this was a rare opportunity. He wanted to show his wife. He was sure she would flip when she saw it. But he never realized that this discovery would have the whole world talking.
Randy Guijarro knew that he had to work hard if he wanted to achieve something in life. He didn’t believe in leaving anything to chance. His mom and dad taught him that. He was the youngest of six, so he wore hand-me-downs since the day he was born to the day he left home. But he took pride in everything he had achieved. Sadly, his parents weren’t pleased with his career.
His mom nicknamed him “The Hoarder” when he was only seven, but there was a reason for that. Randy picked scrap from the yard, buttons from the corners, and pennies from the street. She assumed that her son’s fascination with junk was a phase, but as it turns out it wasn’t. His love for junk only grew as he got older. This concerned her quite a bit, and she had every right to feel this way.
Hoarding is a disorder that forces people to buy, acquire, and search for items that have seemingly no value. Most people have a tough time letting go of these items. In fact, just the thought of throwing stuff away causes these people great distress. But was Randy really a hoarder, or was it just some sort of weird hobby?
There’s a fine line between a hoarder and a collector. A collector will find and store newspapers, magazines, clothing, photographs, and old toys, but they know when to stop. A hoarder continues to collect and collect and doesn’t know when to quit. They also dislike the thought of someone else touching their items. But that wasn’t Randy’s case.
Over the years, Randy’s home became a labyrinth of items like jewelry, stamps, toys, trading cards, clocks, statues, paintings, comics, books, and coins. To him, these were treasures, but all his family saw was junk. However, Randy managed to scavenge and sell his items, and everything he owned had its personal story. But no one in his life got that. Then, Linda walked into his life.
When he met Linda, Randy started to think of his future. With her help, he found a job in Fermont, California. Soon, he realized that he was making more money as a telecommunications technician than selling antiques. Linda never asked him to give up collecting things. But he promised her that he would cut back on collecting once they had moved in together. Then, his old habit reared its ugly head again.
Randy had no idea what he’d find when he met a friend for coffee at the Fresno Tower District. As he walked casually down the street, he noticed a red brick building belonging to Fulton’s Folly Antique Collective. He promised Linda he wouldn’t buy more collectibles until he sold the stuff stored in their “spare bedroom.” But since it wasn’t busy in there, he figured he could browse for a few minutes and leave. But he never imagined this visit would be life-altering.
Randy felt like he had dived into Mary Poppin’s magic bag. There were paintings, jewels, china, pottery, sculptures, radios, records, crystal, prams, dolls, cabinets, armchairs, pianos, figures, baskets, and board games. As he walked down the aisles, Randy realized he had never seen a collection this huge. He inspected a bunch of items, but then he placed them all back after remembering the promise he made. Then, he noticed something by the store’s back door that made his jaw drop.
He saw two men shaking hands outside of the shop. Had the item been bought? Randy noticed the men were surrounded by cardboard boxes as he approached them. It appeared to be a blind buy. The store was obviously overstocked and the owner was probably eager to get rid of some of the items immediately. The buyers only had a short window to inspect the items before bidding on them. Randy couldn’t let them leave the shop.
In a blind buy, you have no idea what to expect. You might end up regretting your purchase once you buy it. But an impulse buy is when you buy something without planning it, like a chocolate candy bar or a new t-shirt. But in this instance, it seemed that Randy was facing both types of buys. But would it pay off, or would he end up kicking himself over his decision?
The men had the highest bid, but Randy was feeling lucky. So, he approached them with warmth and kindness and asked, “Would you mind if I had a quick look?” It turns out the men had heard of Randy from the online antique community. So, they allowed him to rummage through the boxes before putting them in their truck. Sadly, nothing had caught Randy’s interest. Then, he saw a small box made of cardboard, but he didn’t realize the valuable it contained.
Linda believed Randy when he told her he would ease off on his impulse purchases. But she had a thing for photographs. Fortunately, one of the boxes contained three black and white photos. But one man in the photo looked oddly familiar. However, Randy wasn’t sure why. As the men loaded the final boxes, Randy reached into his wallet. He only had $2. Fortunately, the men accepted it and bid him farewell. Randy never imagined the impact this purchase would have.
Linda’s brows furrowed as soon as he walked through the door. She saw the three photos Randy had bought her and asked, “How much did this cost you?” When Randy told her what happened, she gasped. “You do realize who this is?” She asked. It was just an old photo to him, so he shrugged it off. But Linda decided to meet with a local historian to inspect the photo, and her persistence paid off.
Have you ever misplaced anything and never found it again? Maybe you jumped from one house to the next and left something behind by mistake. It happens often, and sadly, we tend to lose things that are important. But things have a way of resurfacing when you least expect them, and that was great news for Randy and Linda.
The historian told the couple that the photos were from the 19th century, which didn’t really shock Randy since the images were very old. But Linda practically squealed with joy when the historian said one of the men in the photos was “Billy the Kid.” Randy was confused. What did this mean? Who was Billy the Kid?
There’s something about the Old West that has fascinated people around the world for years. Maybe it’s the freedom of the open landscape, or perhaps it’s the danger and excitement of living in a lawless time. But we doubt that a lot of history buffs and Wild West enthusiasts would have been thrilled to run into this bad boy.
Billy the Kid is an iconic figure from the American Wild West. He was also wanted for multiple crimes in the state of Arizona. The outlaw was able to evade sheriffs and escape from various prisons for over four years. But his life on the run came to a tragic end at the hands of a bullet by the time he was 21. And yet, he remained famous among cowboy enthusiasts and historians. But they never realized he was this big of a hit.
Randy did some research. He knew that this find was a dream come true for any collector. He had even discovered that the last original photo of Billy the Kid had sold for over $2.3 million. And Linda was practically floored by the news. But there was one pesky issue that hovered over them like a fly.
Linda was heartbroken. It seems that a lot of collectors didn’t want to believe that the photograph was the real McCoy. And to think that she had already considered remodeling her home with the money she was going to earn. She was sure it was Billy the Kid the moment she saw the picture. But even as they considered giving up, something shocking happened.
A few years later, National Geographic got wind of Randy’s amazing discovery! They reached out to him to discuss a project involving a documentary of Billy the Kid. They even had their own specialists analyze and confirm that the photograph was genuine. However, some folks remained skeptics. Fortunately, Randy and Linda wouldn’t have to deal with their doubts for much longer.
Although some skeptics remained, National Geographic’s efforts had convinced most people that Randy’s finding was legit. An auction house in California took the photos from Randy and offered to sell them. The base price was a whopping $5 million. Linda was elated that their persistence had garnered some results! Best of all, they had the support they desperately needed. Randy always knew how stressful collecting could be. But this isn’t the first time someone’s found a timeless treasure.
TV series like “The Antique Roadshow” and “American Pickers” have turned junk across the country into some serious money. Viewers range from all ages, but it’s safe to say that everyone is head over heels in love with a great deal. And finding a hidden fortune in one of your deceased family member’s old belongings is the thing everyone wishes would happen to them. So, netizens simply loved Randy’s discovery.
Randy’s discovery had gone viral even before National Geographic learned of the photographs. Now the entire globe is keeping a close eye on family heirlooms that could wind up earning them some serious cash. But Randy’s level of expertise didn’t happen overnight. It took years of experience collecting. And the odds of buying photos worth $5 million for $2 is one in a million, but one question remains.
“I hope this prompts others out there to look into trucks and attics,” explained Randy, “because there are so many lost treasures out there!” But Randy learned two valuable lessons. One: Listen to his gut instinct. Two: Trust his wife. But now that he’s a freaking millionaire, will Randy finally give up his obsession with collecting stuff?