Vaults can provoke our curiosity, most likely because someone clearly wants to keep us out! And that sparks questions: Why? What’s inside? Is it something important or valuable? Something “top secret?” Or is it something dark and unspeakable? The allure lies in the fact that we’ll never know!
When great uncle Ray bequeathed an enormous old safe to his nephew, they weren’t sure how they were going to move it at first. Uncle Ray’s farmhouse was old and was going to be torn down, but the family wanted to rescue the old safe.
“My friend and I had a furniture dolly and thought we could get it just the two of us,” said the nephew. They couldn’t.
He and his dad rigged up a ramp in order to traverse the stairs without lifting.
“We knew manpower wasn’t going to be enough to pull this thing up the stairs and we weren’t messing around so we attached a tow strap to a chain in order to pull it up the stairs and around the corner with our skid loader.”
The rig apparently worked.
“I cleaned it off a bit and here she sets. After speaking with my grandpa about the safe, I learned quite a bit and now he came out to the house and handed me a piece of paper. It was a copy of the original manufacturer’s sheet with the combination on it!”
He describes how he got the combination lock open: “The lock design was unlike any I had seen before in that it had 4 entries. You had to spin to the first number clockwise, then had to rotate the dial 3 times counterclockwise to the second number, then 2 times clockwise again to the 3rd number, and finally 1 time counterclockwise to the final number as per the manufacturer’s instructions.”
“I had no clue what to expect when I turned this key. I was really glad to see that the key was already inside the safe. When I first opened it and saw another door I was afraid that was the end of the road.”
What they found were “Documents on documents on documents!” a jewelry compartment, and another key.
Oh no! The jewelry compartment was empty.
Then, pay dirt: “These were by far the most interesting find. Two stock certificates for The Walt Disney Company, one for 20 shares and one for 10 shares. It was our understanding that my great uncle’s trust (whose name the certificates are in) had been closed out and liquidated upon his passing. But as many people told me, these certificates were most likely still outstanding since paper certificates are turned in or destroyed when cashed out. It also turned out that the stocks were purchased right before a stock split so the 30 shares could actually be 60 or even 90 shares! So off to my financial advisor I went!!”
After his consultation, he announced some exciting news: “After getting in touch with them and doing some paperwork and research it turns out these certificates ARE still outstanding!!! I am freaking out guys. All shares that were earned after the stocks were split have been liquidated since they weren’t issued as paper stocks and were either liquidated over time by my great uncle or sold off when he passed. But these 30 Shares remain! My grandpa and I are going through the process of changing the names on the certificates out of my great uncle’s trust so that they will be valid again. Going to the bank!”
Photo credit: Imgur.