we'd love to hear it. send me an e-mail, or go to our website, strangeinheritance.com. ♪ >> at the edge of death valley... >> it's weird and unusual and unique. >> ...a man puts a dusty weigh station on the map. but the town and his legacy fall on hard times. >> i was hearing from the residents that it was an eyesore. >> has he left his family a money pit... >> we want you to keep this in the family at all costs. >> ...or a monument? >> sometimes in life, we don't appreciate things until they're gone. [ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ] [ bird caws ] ♪ [ horn honks ] >> i'm jamie colby, and today i'm driving through the
mojave desert on my way to the tiny town of baker, california. it's halfway between los angeles and las vegas. just a tiny dot on the map -- 800 people. it embodies the weirdness of both those cities, and its largest attraction, definitely its tallest, has become one family's rather strange inheritance. >> my name is larae harguess, and my father, willis herron, set out to build the world's tallest thermometer. >> hi. i'm jamie. >> hi, jamie. i'm larae. nice to meet you. >> it's big. >> it is the world's tallest thermometer. >> well, if someone figured this roadside attraction would get you to stop and gawk, it sure as heck worked on me. >> hi. how are you, janice? i'm jamie. >> hi. nice to meet you, jamie. >> today, larae and her sister, janice neisess, run a gift shop in the shadow of the tower. they sell thermometer t-shirts,
thermometer hot sauce, even thermometer thermometers. yes, this really is the world's tallest thermometer. and it would be strange enough just to inherit a 130-foot thermometer in the middle of the desert, but what's as remarkable is the mission that larae and her family took on after her father died in 2007. >> you're sure? >> i got to get a closer look. i tell larae's husband, bill, i'm ready for a challenge. i've been training to climb to the top. i'm going in. >> okay. >> why did he say it that way? >> i just bombed it this morning for the spiders. >> spiders. i'm a girl of nature. >> black widows. >> they're little spiders. >> black widow spiders. >> yeah. >> i think you'd better close it up. >> they're small. >> even this host has to draw the line at black widow spiders.
the story of this strange inheritance begins with a young man who falls in love with the california desert. in the early 1950s, after service in the air force and college, willis herron heads west from his home in kentucky to join his father in barstow, california, where his dad has become a restaurateur. >> he and his father had a couple restaurants in barstow, and he was successful. my dad was very personable. >> successful enough that a local businessman offers to partner with young willis on an all-night diner in baker, 60 miles up the road. you may think a place known as the gateway to death valley is an unlikely spot for an eatery, but willis sees it differently. >> he knew that people would need to stop between los angeles and las vegas. >> at a time when few cars have air-conditioning, baker is a perfectly located oasis,
a spot for gamblers to cool off from the desert heat. pretty soon, willis' burger joint, called bun boy, is a landmark. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, winners drive in to celebrate, and losers drown their sorrows in...strawberries? >> fresh strawberry pie -- that was what it was known for. it was definitely kind of an americana diner -- the big breakfasts but also, you know, the burgers, the specialty sandwiches and things like that. >> in 1971, willis falls in love with barbara sturm, who comes with a house full of daughters -- larae, janice and terri -- just the kind of work force you need for a family restaurant. >> we all started as bussers, and we did dishwashing, and we did waitressing. >> this is the menu, right, of bun boy? the original. the burger was $3.95, and it came with coleslaw, french fries, or potato salad. that's a steal of a deal! >> and a smiling waitress.
[ laughs ] >> willis will eventually buy out his partner and become the biggest fish in the town's very small pond. >> we had three restaurants, two motels, two gas stations, a grocery store, pretty much within a block. >> baker booms. in the late '70s, willis buys a nice house in silver lake, a desert community 75 miles away. but soon business in baker sputters. cars are all air-conditioned. gamblers can drive straight through and arrive in vegas cool and comfortable. willis needs a gimmick, something to grab their eye and their wallet. he gets his inspiration in an unlikely spot -- international falls, minnesota. >> they had the world's tallest thermometer, and it was 22 feet high. and so i think he saw that
and the wheels started spinning. >> 22 feet? pshaw. his thermometer will mark the highest temperature, 134 degrees, ever recorded in death valley. it will soar as high as baker is hot. >> i know that my mom recalls saying, "have you lost your mind?" [ laughs ] "134 feet?" my dad looked at her with those blue eyes and said, "oh, honey, come on. this will be fun." ♪ >> in 1990, willis cuts a deal with yesco, a las vegas company that builds and finances those big, eye-catching signs. >> if you asked my mom, she would think that he was a little crazy to spend $750,000 to build a thermometer. >> $750,000? >> yes. yes. >> a little crazy?
that may be putting it mildly. willis plunks down $150,000. yesco does a lease deal to finance the other $600,000. by the fall of 1991, construction is wrapping up. despite the expense, the challenges, and the questions about his sanity, willis pops for a lighting ceremony. he bills it "the great turn-on." >> the invitations had gone out. thanksgiving day, he's out playing golf with his grandson. and he comes home, and my mom says, "honey, sit down. i have something to tell you." >> that's next. >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question. what's the most visited tourist attraction in the united states? is it times square, walt disney world, or the las vegas strip? the answer in a moment.
with creative new business incentives, the lowest taxes in decades, and university partnerships, attracting the talent and companies of tomorrow. like in utica, where a new kind of workforce is being trained. and in albany, the nanotechnology capital of the world. let us help grow your company's tomorrow, today at business.ny.gov
♪ >> so, what is the most visited tourist attraction in the united states? the answer is "a," new york's times square. nearly 42 million people visit annually. >> november 28th, 1991, near death valley, california. at the time, restaurant owner willis herron is just weeks away from the grand opening of his monumental roadside attraction, a 134-foot thermometer. but suddenly, a freak storm
gathers over the mojave desert. >> thanksgiving day, we got a devastating phone call that the wind had come through here and actually blown the thermometer over. >> oh, no. was anyone hurt? >> nobody was hurt or killed. >> herron's dream for restoring the economy of the tiny town of baker appears crushed. it's a bitter lesson in the power of nature, one that might have defeated a lesser man, but not willis herron. >> it was insured, so he said, "put it back up." >> to keep it from having that problem again, we filled that center pipe with cement. >> 226 tons of cement, to be exact. in october 1992, willis herron flips the switch, and the world's tallest thermometer lights up. >> it flashes, and it's there. you could hear my mom crying in the background, going, "oh, thank god."
>> so you were only 2 years old when it was built? >> yeah. it's funny. there's all these cute pictures of us as kids. >> to his grandson dan neisess, this towering monument establishes willis as a legendary figure, a small-town tycoon. >> i'm sure that the amount of money it took to put up the thermometer was paid back 10 times. >> willis' brainstorm helps make him a rich man. >> it brought business to baker and people visiting and stopping and seeing it as kind of this unusual landmark in the middle of the desert. >> willis also still owns two restaurants -- his flagship bun boy and a coffee shop -- plus two motels, four gas stations and a country store. he and his wife, barbara, are practically lord and lady of baker. >> anytime anybody ever needed anything in the family, it was kind of like the understanding that they'd go talk to my grandfather, and he'd help you out.
>> but willis knows the good times can't roll forever. >> in 2000, his health was declining. he was 75 years old. he knew it was time to just sell it all. my mom actually didn't want him to sell the thermometer, but he didn't want her to have to worry about anything, finances or anything. >> so he puts it all on the market -- the motels, restaurants, gas stations, and the world's tallest thermometer. he finds a buyer who wants it all and will assume the lease on his signature attraction. willis takes back mortgages on the thermometer property and his other businesses. he's expecting a nice income stream well into the future. for 18 months, the new owner makes regular payments, and willis enjoys his retirement. but then things get complicated. the new owner is struggling. he wants out. so in 2006, to protect his investments,
willis finds another buyer. but the new owner needs a bank loan and won't get it unless willis puts up the thermometer property as collateral. if the loan is not paid off, the bank can take it. then, in july 2007, willis herron dies at the age of 82. >> little did he know that the economic downturn would hit in 2009, 2010. >> selling continuing after dropping 1,000 points over the last week. >> so that dream of his that mom wouldn't have to worry about anything changed quickly when people didn't pay the bills. >> as the restaurant business fails, the new owner cuts back on maintenance of the thermometer. then he stops making payments on the lease. soon the spire that willis erected to draw people off the highway advertises only baker's economic distress. >> it had been vandalized.
i was hearing from the residents out there that it was an eyesore because it wasn't working. >> some people even wanted it torn down. >> the herron family is shocked. >> my mom saw it a couple years ago, and she was devastated. >> tell me about that day. >> there was a couple standing in front of it taking their picture, and she stomped right over to them and started apologizing profusely for the way that the thermometer looked. and she vowed on that day to have it completely restored and brought back to its glory. >> barbara has inherited only a mortgage on the property. that's hardly enough to make good on her vow. so won't she be better off cutting her losses? >> sometimes in life, we don't appreciate things until they're gone. >> that's next. >> here's another quiz question for you. what is america's oldest roadside attraction? a six-story-tall elephant, a 10-ton ball of twine, or a
♪ >> so, what is america's oldest roadside attraction? the answer is "a." lucy the elephant has been stopping traffic in margate, new jersey, since 1881. constructed of wood, she is 65 feet high and weighs in at 90 tons. >> tell me about the motels, dan. >> well, my grandpa owned a lot of motels here in baker. it was kind of a big business back then. >> dan neisess is reminiscing about his grandfather willis herron's small-town business empire here in baker, california.
before his death in 2007, willis thought he'd unloaded it all, including his beloved roadside attraction, the world's tallest thermometer. a few years later, however, the businesses are shuttered. willis' loans to the new owners are in default, and the thermometer is a wreck. some locals want to tear it down. dan is just one of the family members who rally behind his grandmother barbara's crusade to reclaim and restore it. >> it's a weird thing that probably doesn't make any sense to anybody, but it matters to some people. it matters to a lot of people, i guess -- more than we ever thought. >> barbara herron, who's in her 70s and has serious health problems, lives 90 miles away and is in no position to deal with the layers of deeds, mortgages, notes, and leases that her husband attached to the holdings he left her. her daughters jump in to help, but larae
is a school guidance counselor, and janice is a teacher. this business stuff ain't their bag. as i'm looking through all the pages of the transactions for your family to stay involved with the thermometer, i'm wondering how complicated is it now? what's the deal? >> we're not gonna win businesswomen of the year awards. >> on this transaction, no. >> you might not. >> no. >> the sisters know this -- if their mom wants to wrest back control of their strange inheritance, she'll have to fund a bail-out. >> yeah, she took it out of her savings to do this. >> in her 70s? >> mm-hmm. >> was that the right decision, janice? >> yes, it was. i think so. >> i got to wonder -- barbara herron wants to redeem a pile of bad debt on distressed properties, including that thermometer, in a town whose best days may be in the rearview mirror. >> but this was not done for business. this was done for the heart. and we wanted to bring back my dad's legacy. >> step one -- yesco,
the company that built and financed the thermometer, agrees to write off its debt and relinquish any claim on the structure. step two -- barbara forecloses on the thermometer property. step three -- she pays off the bank that still has a lien on it. finally, willis herron's pride and joy is back in his family, free and clear. step four may be the hardest part -- getting the darn thing working again. for that, it's back to yesco. >> we ended up having to put a new computer in it, new drivers, software, and new l.e.d. lighting. >> so how much did it cost to fix the thermometer? >> about $150,000. >> family members, most of whom live a couple of hours away, take rotating shifts in baker to protect the tower from vandals. >> here's where we've been the last four months. >> what? >> yeah. >> you said you lived on the property.
i thought there was a house. you've been living in this? >> this is it. >> willis' grandson, dan, a recent law-school graduate, takes a break from job hunting to help set up the gift shop. >> i painted everything, and i fixed the drywall, and... i don't know. all kinds of stuff. >> family members don't get paid. profits from the shop barely cover the electric bill for the thermometer. nevertheless, barbara has shelled out more than $330,000 to get the thermometer back and get it working. ♪ the last big question -- if she rebuilds it, will they come? that's next.
it's a sign of early gum disease which you can help reverse by using listerine® added to your brushing routine listerine® kills up to 99.9% of germs and helps reverse early gum disease in just two weeks. listerine® power to your mouth™ also try listerine® floss. it's advanced technology removes more plaque.
>> it's october 2014. and we do take cash. we're taking some cash. here in baker, california, even i've been caught up in the excitement... we have these heat- and chill- activated world's tallest thermometer cups. they make great stocking stuffers. >> okay. >> ...as willis herron's family celebrates their strange and hard-won inheritance. despite her serious health problems, willis' widow, barbara, comes to baker in style. >> here's my baby girl. >> today is the rededication of the world's tallest thermometer, decades after it first flashed across the mojave desert. ♪ >> thank you. >> over 40 years ago, willis herron, he had a dream. and my mom kept her promise, and she spent her savings to repair the thermometer and get it back into its glory,
where it should be. >> dedicated on this saturday, october 11th, 2014, to willis and barbara herron, original owners and founders of the world's tallest thermometer. [ cheers and applause ] >> i watched your face, and your smile said everything. >> yes. i am very proud. i've got three girls, and i'm very proud of all of them. they've done a very good job. >> and they're making sure their kids understand the importance of this monument to the memory of the man they loved. >> hey, you. we said, "remember this day. remember that this is as much your family. we're gonna be gone one day, and we want you to keep this in the family at all costs. it needs to stay in the family." >> it feels like giving back to my grandfather,
who had been so generous to all of us all our lives, you know, and to be able to say thank you. >> no doubt -- from bun boy to motels to that crazy thermometer, willis herron of baker was a classic american success story. but there's one big chance he missed. back in the early 1950s, he ran into a fellow kentuckian at a restaurant convention, a nicely dressed fella named harland sanders. yeah, colonel harland sanders, who wanted to let willis in on the ground floor of his own new enterprise, kentucky fried chicken. but willis turned the colonel down. "fried chicken?" he said. "nah, that'll never catch on." willis always told that story with a hearty laugh. i'm jamie colby and remember -- you can't take it with you. do you have a strange inheritance story you'd like to
share with us? we'd love to hear it. send me an e-mail or go to our website -- strangeinheritance.com. >> a sailor who was with jfk aboard pt-109. >> the young man's mother begins a correspondents with the future president. >> i was shocked. >> the letters are tucked away for years. >> they could be of historical value, and worth a lot of month. >> this is a pressure that surfaces that no one knew existed. >> if they could prove they are real. >> the signatures look authentic. >> this is eye real signature? >> this is a real jfk si signat. >> will bidders open their wallet? >> looking for 100.
110, now 120. jamie: i am jamie colby, i am on my way to fall river, massachusets about an hour south of boston, i am going to meet a man whose strang strange inher 0 begins with his family powerful connection to a future preside president. >> i am dennis harkins, my mother passed in 1990, she left us with correspondents regarding our uncle harold who was lost in south pacific during world war ii. jamie: i am jamie. what is this place? >> our en eithe inheritance. >> the ship, let's check it out. >> reporter: battleship code museum here has two of last
remaining pt boats from world war ii, his uncle harley, joined navy in 1941. >> he was the typicalismish younger brother. then a month later here will pearl harbor. with u.s. at war, harl is shipped to the south pacific, he puts in a request to join a pt boat crew, which means patroler to meado torpedo, and they had twin machine gun turrets. >> they could lay low in the water, wait for the enemy ships to pass, then attack with the torpedos. >> the museum curator shows me
around, tight quarters. quarters. why the moss quito -- mosquito fleet. >> they could infection you with malaria, they were deadly and fast. jamie: harl's captain, 26-year-old navy lieutenant, john f. kennedy. >> so, this is where kennedy, lieutenant junior grade, controlled the ship from? >> correct. jamie: right here, you could barely see over, and they operated in the dark of night. >> yes. jamie: 4 feel the away is where harold was operateing that turret this puts it in perspective. >> idea was to go out attack the destroyers and sink them. jamie: no radar? >> the 109 had no radar. >> on one such night august 1,
1943, out of darkness. a japanese destroyer traveling at 40 knots. 19-year-old harold marney is stationed in that gun turret. >> he gave the alarm, ship at 2:00. >> reporter: 2:00. jamie: the ship slices right through pt109. >> right here this wing tank, actually exploded. jamie: hard to imagine anyone could have survived. >> things happened so fast, he probably got sucked into the weight of the ship. jamie: harold and a second sailor andrew did not have a chance, the surviving sailors swam to a small string of islands and take refuge until they are rescued 6 days later, lute kennedy writes to harl's mother, jennie marney. >> this letter to offer my
deepest sympathy for the loss of your son. jamie: wrote, i realize there is nothing that i can say can make your sorrow less, hammer cal hae aboard my boat, jennie wrote back, thanks him for his letter, asking if it was possible her son could still be alive, kennedy spend ons, we could find no trace of him. although every effort was made to find him. i am terribly sorry they cannot be of more help or encouragement. >> my grandmother, jennie was from am hurst, nova scotia. she was proper. jamie: and feels she made a friend in 1944, mom learns that kennedy will be in boston to get treated for the back injuries he
sustained on pt109, she goes to visit him in the hospital. jamie: you just don't get in to see jack kennedy. >> no. jamie: but she does more than once. >> what they talked about god only knows, i am sure they talked about harold and his brother joe. jamie: his older brother joe was a naval naive yeah, thiator, whs killed in a top-secret mission, jennie writes her own letter of condolence. i want you to know how much i appreciate your card, he says, i know you know how we all feel, boys like harold and my brother joe can never be replaced. incredible. he says, i hope i shall see you sometimes again. >> yes. jamie: in 1946, kennedy is elected to congress. 6 years later to senate, and in
november 1960, kennedy wins the white house. narrowly defeating vice president richard nixon. >> the torch has been passed to a new generation of americans born in this country. >> ke kennedy writes, sends a memorial at the wall in philippines that has been inscribeed with harold a name, he closes his letter saying, if ever you are in the nation's capital, i would like very much to have the white house and other public places shown to you, then that awful day, november 1963. jamie: president kennedy of shot today just as his motorcade left downtown dallas. the end of the white house camelot years, and end of mum's
relationship with the most powerful man in the world. jennie marney dies in 1973. and bequest her carefully preserveed letters from kennedy to her daughter elaine, and she gave them to her son in 1985, 5 years before she died. >> i said oh, wow, and promptly put them in a safe deposive box. jamie: there they remained for a quarter century, but a surprise phone call from a straeufrpbl strangeer. >> i got on the phone, and there was a strange message, are you the nephew of pt109 crew member harl marney. >> what is the most expensive piece of presidential
memorabilia sold at auction? the answer in a moment. i think it landed last tuesday. one second it's there. then, woosh, it's gone. i swear i saw it swallow seven people. seven. i just wish one of those people could have been mrs. johnson. [dog bark] trust me, we're dealing with a higher intelligence here. ♪ the all-new audi q7 is here. ♪
type 2 diabetes doesn't care who you are. man woman or where you're from. city country we're just everyday people fighting high blood sugar. ♪i am everyday people. farxiga may help in that fight every day. along with diet and exercise, farxiga helps lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. one pill a day helps lower your a1c. and, although it's not a weight-loss or blood-pressure drug, farxiga may help you lose weight and may even lower blood pressure when used with certain diabetes medicines. do not take if allergic to farxiga or its ingredients. symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include rash, swelling, or difficulty breathing or swallowing.
if you have any of these symptoms stop taking farxiga and seek medical help right away. do not take farxiga if you have severe kidney problems, are on dialysis, or have bladder cancer. tell your doctor right away if you have blood or red color in your urine or pain while you urinate. farxiga can cause serious side effects, including dehydration, genital yeast infections in women and men, low blood sugar, kidney problems, and increased bad cholesterol. common side effects include urinary tract infections, changes in urination, and runny nose. farxiga. we are everyday people. ♪i am everyday people. yeah. yeah.♪ ask your doctor if farxiga is right for you and visit farxiga.com to learn how you can get it for free.
>> it is a, geroge sheldon george washington draft cop of the constitution. jamie: for years jennie marney correspondents with john f kennedy. they remained friends until jfk's assassination in 1963, neither dennis harkins or frances piorek who were half brothers ever met their uncle. >> i heard just whispers, he was on pt109, and kennedy was the commander. jamie: frances catching the jeaniology bug. >> i realized i know not know about my family. jamie: he is looking for any unknown relatives of harold
marney, his message goes unnoticed until 2013, when brian willis, posts petition to place a headstone for marney in a veteran cemetery near springfield massachusets. >> i could not find him anywhere. honored, not even in springfield, and he was from east spring field. jamie: brian comes across frances' post from way back in 2001. >> i got a phone, and left a strange message. are you the nephew of pt109 crew member marney. >> it was stronging to get a call off the blue. jamie: in august 2013 that grave stone is placed at veteran's cemetery. idennis is thinking about those letters written to his grandmother that he has been holding on to for 25 years. isn't it time he did something with them. but then a reckoning for dennis
and frances, the brother john dies of diabetes at age of 57. >> it makes you start to think about what do you want to do with the rest of your life. because his death was unexpected. jamie: they retrieveed letter that frances had never seen. >> i was shocked when i say what the letters detailed. jamie: why now? >> the driving thing was the loss of our brother john. >> a wake up you know, i'm not get anything younger. >> these documents could be of historical value, and worth a lot of money. jamie: you had a big decision to make. >> i felt they were worth something. jamie: a number? >> 30 or 40,000 dollars perhaps. jamie: he did not pull that number out of a hat, the son of andrew kirk sold his
grandmother's letter for 9500 dollars. >> was it worth 9500 or 20,000 we had no idea. jamie: but they are about to learn, that authenticateing jfk documents for auction is more complicated. >> you need to know if you buy a john f. kennedy letter, he is one of the most forgeed autographs. jamie: is it easy or difficult to spot a fake. >> jfk is perhaps the most difficult. jamie: that is next on strange inher/10. >inheritance. >> a question for you, babe ruth is most forgeed autograph of all-times, what is the most outside of the sports world? neil armstrong? marilyn monroe? or e
many people clean their dentures with toothpaste or plain water. and even though their dentures look clean, in reality they're not. if a denture were to be put under a microscope, we can see all the bacteria that still exists on the denture, and that bacteria multiplies very rapidly. that's why dentists recommend cleaning with polident everyday. polident's unique micro clean formula works in just 3 minutes, killing 99.99% of odor causing bacteria. for a cleaner, fresher, brighter denture every day. you'rewhen a majestic beastwoods runs into view. then you run into a tree. but your totaled new car isn't totally replaced. with new car replacement,
>> what is the posted forgeed signature outside of the sports world? it is elvis presley. jamie: for 25 years, dennis harkins keeps an old family heirloom storeed away in a safety deposit box, 4 letters written to his grandmother, jennie marney by john f. kennedy, three handwritten before he became president, and one typewritten on white house stationnary. he and his brother died it is decide it is time to sell.
>> kennedy is a very important figure in american history. people really related to the kennedy family. chairs of jacquelin kennedy shoes sell for $30 now. $30,000. jamie: they hold their own unique value, back to that mission on the pt109. >> there are no other letters that we know of by john f. kennedy with his personal account of what happened that night. jamie: many a collector has been burned after plungeing dow pluna fortune for a newly discovered document that was a fake. jfk*frpbgs is thfk is the fourtt
forgeed signature. is it easy or difficult. >> he is perhaps most difficult. 80% of process is -- does the signature and handwriting match known exempt burglars, his -- exemplars, it changes so much. jamie: why would he change his signature. >> his personaly changes, and his signature changed. jamie: brothers than the handwritten letters must be re real. but bob eton cannot just take their word, he compares them to a known letter. jamie: show me. >> a letter from 1940, three
years prior. this similarities, he always had a tendency even later in life, when he made a t he would continue, he would break words up. >> confirming, they also have jfk's unique t, but how about the one from white house. jamie: president cannot sign every letter by hand what about that one. >> most of kennedy's letter from that time period were secretarial. but he had a bond with this family. jamie: this is a real signature. >> it is a real signature 92100% jamie: you are 100% sure. >> i am 110% sure. jamie: how much were they worth. >> we had never seen anything like it from kennedy, we estmeated it 50,000 or more.
>> more than i thought. jamie: anything could happen at auction. was your heart pal tateing. >> just about out of my chest. jamie: next. at ally bank, no branches equals great rates. it's a fact. kind of like social media equals anti-social. hey guys, i want you to meet my fiancée, denise. hey. good to meet you dennis.
iand quit a lot,t but ended up nowhere. now i use this. the nicoderm cq patch, with unique extended release technology, helps prevent the urge to smoke all day. i want this time to be my last time. that's why i choose nicoderm cq. all across the state the economy is growing,arts today. with creative new business incentives, and the lowest taxes in decades, attracting the talent and companies of tomorrow. like in the hudson valley, with world class biotech. and on long island, where great universities are creating next generation technologies. let us help grow your company's tomorrow, today at business.ny.gov thanks. ♪ [ male announcer ] fedex® has solutions to enable global commerce that can help your company grow steadily and quickly. great job. (mandarin) ♪
cut it out. >>see you tomorrow. ♪ so strap yourselves in for action flo! small business edition. oh, no! i'm up to my neck in operating costs! i'll save the day! for plumbers and bakers and scapers of lawn, she's got insurance savvy you can count on. you chipped my birdbath! now you're gonna pay! not so fast! i cover more than just cars and trucks. ♪ action flo did somebody say "insurance"? children: flo! ♪ action flo cut! can i get a smoothie, please? ooh! they got smoothies? for me. you can fly across welcome town in minutes16, or across the globe in under an hour. whole communities are living on mars and solar satellites provide earth with unlimited clean power. in less than a century, boeing took the world from seaplanes
to space planes, across the universe and beyond. and if you thought that was amazing, you just wait. ♪ jamie: for 25 years dennis harkins kept his strange inher 10 locke"strangeinheritance" loe letters written to his grandmother by john f. kennedy. dennis and his brother frances are ready to sell, a small crowd gathers at a hotel, hundreds more are bidding by phone and on-line. >> this is our remarkable rarity
auction. auction. >> were started getting butterflies. what is this going to do. >> a great lot. letters, one of a kind archive to family of his lost crew mate. >> we're starting with 22,000 bid on internet, now 23,000. jamie: remember preliminary estimate for all 4. was 50 k. >> 45 on the phone, frenc. >> 55 now, 60,000. >> >> they had auction people there, they were hollering, and pushing. >> 90,000. >>95,000. looking for 100? bid 100? yes. >> now 110. >> 110, now 120. >> 130? 130,000 dollars? 140? jamie: the bidding is not over.
>> 140, now 150. >> 150. >> 150,000. >> 160 is high bid ing on the phone lookinbid ing on the phon. >> then the final call. >> this is sold . >> 3 times more than brother had originally hoped for. >> i am flabbergasted it was amazeing to watch it unfold. >> i hope that the successful bidder enjoys them, perhaps they will put them in a museum. jamie: a young man makes ultimate sacrifice for freedom that legacy he left for all of us, the let ters his commander was on the and future president writes helped light know his mother's grief, and decades later, a financial boone for family he never knew.
a "strange inheritance" indeed. how hard to part with them. >> it was hard but it was time, like an old jal opy peck up truck, you love it, but it is time to let it g time to move on. jamie: dennis a mum always relished her special relationship with john k kennedy, and not shy about calling in a favor, legend has it when mum retireed to connecticut had trouble receiving her social security benefits she turned to her friend now president kennedy for help, when letters on white house stationary arrived at the local social security office, officials there jumped to fix the problem, from then on mum always got her check on time. i am jamie colby, for strange
strang"strangeinheritance," i ay thank you for watching. >> send me an e-mail or go to our web site [laughter] that will do. see you tomorrow. >> a world record car collection. >> he just kept going. he never stopped. >> i believe his goal was to have one of every car ever made. >> a maverick driven to leave a mark. >> he went to the auction, bought the whole lot. >> his family promises to carry out his grand plan. >> i think there was a feeling of dread, relief, excitement, and enthusiasm. >> love it. love the hair flowing. the top down. >> but can they fulfill the patrio patriarchs dying wish? >> you don't want that car oil on your hand.