Man finds his letterman high school jacket 28 years later


“I went to the store that year and picked it all out,” Mottley told CNN. “You kind of had to design the jacket yourself… but I never saw the final product.”

When it came time to get it back, Mottley’s mother told her they didn’t have the money to buy it.

“She was one of the best mothers you could ask for,” Mottley said, “and she really did her best. I mean, there were Christmases where there were IOUs under the Christmas tree. Christmas, and if you’ve (ever) had an IOU on Christmas… you don’t know what that does. We really had a hard time, and she always did well, but she was so loving. “

But Mottley’s older brother Josh was in the right place at the right time on November 3. starkly different from its original price of $ 300, Mottley estimated.

“The price was right, 28 years later”

“My mother was one of the most religious people I know and she would always say, ‘I’m going to wave you over to the other side,’” Jed said. “She passed away in 2012, but we never had that sign.”

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Josh moved to Pinetop a few years ago after traveling the country as a musician. He was walking through the Veterans Village Thrift Store in the area when he spotted the bright red jacket, he told the CNN affiliate. KNXV.

The jacket had the name “Jed” sewn under the left pocket, “94” sewn under the right pocket, and a soccer ball, the letters “WR” and the number 1 sewn onto the right arm. “Chaparral” has been sewn inside a large letter “C” on the upper left part of the jacket.

“We were like, right now, on the phone,” Jed said. “The price was right, 28 years later.”

Josh Mottley, left, says his brother's bright red jacket was the first thing he saw in the store.

Jed, also a musician, lives in Los Angeles and flew to Arizona just so Josh could deliver the extraordinary discovery to him in person, he said, making it the brothers’ first time. had been seeing for years.

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

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

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

“As a musician I love to make people happy and it seems like over the past two weeks it has been nothing but happiness,” Jed said. “People cry tears of joy.… They are so happy for me. It made me shed tears.”

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

“I was embarrassed,” he said. “I felt like we had grown up with a lot of money around 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. at home, but you know, (at home) it was just a little different. “

From one store to another

The jackets were donated by a man from Mesa, 174 miles from Pinetop – less than 20 miles from Chaparral High School, Veterans Village’s Maggie Heath told CNN.

“His wife is deceased and because of Covid he was unable to keep his store open,” she said. “He drove a trailer of jackets and badges to donate to our thrift store in Veterans Village. We sold hundreds of them before realizing the jackets with names and numbers weren’t. as samples. “

When Josh walked in and saw Jed’s name and number on the jacket, Heath said he “turned around”.

“It’s wonderful to hear that one of our graduates is now in possession of the Letterman jacket that was intended for her so many years ago,” Nancy Norman of the Scottsdale Unified School District told CNN. “Items like this have great sentimental value, and we hope having the jacket will now bring back fond memories of his days as the Chaparral Firebird.”

Norman said it was not clear what happened to the jacket after Jed was unable to retrieve it.

As for the remaining jackets, said Heath, the shop is offering 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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