Letterman’s never-worn jacket appears in brother’s town

(CNN) – Twenty-eight years ago, Jed Mottley got his college football letter from Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Ariz. But he was never able to wear the jacket.

“I went to the store that year and picked it all out,” Mottley told CNN. “… I never saw the final product. “

When the letterman’s jacket was personalized for Jed, his mother told him they didn’t have the money to buy it. The price of $ 300 was too high for the struggling family.

And that was it. Until this month, when Mottley’s older brother Josh walked into a thrift store in Pinetop, Arizona.

His eye was drawn to the familiar red and gold of the jacket and the blocky “C” for Chaparral. Then he looked closer: there was “Jed” sewn under the left pocket, “94” – his brother’s graduating class – under the right pocket, and Jed’s jersey number and position on the right arm. .

It was the very jacket Jed couldn’t afford to buy, now marked at $ 25.

Josh immediately called his brother in Los Angeles. “The price was right, 28 years later,” Jed said.

After the discovery on November 3, Jed flew to Arizona just so Josh could deliver the extraordinary discovery to him in person. It was the first time the brothers had seen each other in years.

Based on the condition of the jacket, Jed said, he thinks no one has ever worn it. The label “inspected by” was still in his pocket.

“I feel like my mom has been with me all week,” Jed said. “It just gave me that natural high that I hope will never go away.”

“She was one of the best moms you could ask for,” he said, “and she really did her best. I mean, there were Christmases where there was IOUs under. the Christmas tree… We really had a hard time, and she always managed to pull through. She was so loving.

He sees the jacket as the fulfillment of a final promise from their mother, who died in 2012: “She always said, ‘I’ll wave you over to the other side.’ “

After a two week visit to Arizona, Jed returned home to Los Angeles and said he wore the jacket whenever he got the chance, including on stage at some of his shows with his band. , Feed The Kitty.

“As a musician I love to make people happy, and it seems like over the last couple of weeks it’s been all about happiness,” Jed said. “People cry tears of joy. … They are so happy for me. It made me shed a few tears.

Since the discovery, some of Jed’s former teammates have asked why he hadn’t told them his mother couldn’t afford the jacket.

“I was embarrassed,” he said. “I felt like we had grown up with a lot of money in Scottsdale, and I came from a broken family.… It was good because I was able to borrow their clothes, get in their nice cars and hang out. home, but, you know, (home) it was just a little different.

Josh, also a musician, moved a few years ago to Pinetop, 180 miles from Scottsdale. It was a strange coincidence that a trailer of donated jackets ended up at the thrift store in the Veterans’ Village.

The jackets were donated by a man who owned a store in Mesa, near Scottsdale, Veterans Village’s Maggie Heath told CNN.

“His wife has passed away and due to COVID he was unable to keep his store open,” she said. “He drove a trailer of jackets and badges to donate to our Veterans Village thrift store. We sold hundreds of them before realizing that jackets with names and numbers weren’t just samples. “

Heath said the store offers them to others who may be looking for a long-lost jacket. Since the discovery, Heath said, she has been inundated with calls and emails and plans to spend an entire day sorting out jackets and patches.

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