On June 10th 1994, a group of friends and family gathered at a lawyer’s office in Santa Monica, California to read the last will and testament of 79 year old Thelma Pearl Howard. Thelma had died quietly in a nursing home just a few weeks earlier just 16 days shy of her 80th birthday. From the outside, Thelma Howard had lived a very modest life. Her most notable achievement was working as Walt Disney’s personal housekeeper for more than thirty years. She cooked all of Walt’s meals and helped raise his two young daughters. For this service she was paid a modest annual salary, perhaps slightly more than the average housekeeper because her boss was so wealthy and famous. So, you can imagine the utter shock when Thelma’s lawyer announced that she had in fact controlled a multi-million dollar stock portfolio and was leaving the half of her impressive net worth to charity. How exactly did a lowly housekeeper end up dying with millions of dollars in the bank? The story is truly heartwarming and inspirational.
Thelma Pearl Howard was born in June of 1915 to a family of very poor farmers in Southwick, Idaho. Thelma was the second of five children. Her childhood was filled with pain starting at the age of six when her mother tragically died during child birth. Two more siblings died unexpectedly before she reached the age of 18. Thelma briefly moved to Spokane, Washington to attend college but was forced to drop out before completing a full year of classes because she couldn’t afford the tuition anymore. After Spokane, Thelma moved to Los Angeles where she held down three jobs to make ends meet. She poured drinks at a soda fountain, cleaned houses and worked part time as a secretary.
Throughout the thirty years that Thelma worked for the Disney family, she was paid a little more than the average housekeeper’s salary. She was also given free room and board which made her paycheck go a long way, but would never make her “rich”. On the other hand, working for Walt Disney presented Thelma with a very unique perk. Every Christmas and birthday, Walt gave Thelma shares of Disney stock as a bonus. As the Disney empire expanded, the number of shares she received grew. Because Thelma respected Walt so much, she never sold a single share in her entire lifetime and even used some of her own money to buy more on the side.
Over the years, Thelma’s stock portfolio slowly ballooned. A few shares became a hundred. A hundred became a thousand. A thousand became ten thousand and so on. When Thelma first began receiving the shares, owning Disney stock wasn’t particularly exciting. Then, between 1945 and 1965, the company exploded into the cultural phenomenon the world knows and loves today. Disneyland opened in July 1955 and was an immediate success. Then Disney studios went on a creative tear churning out a series of classic films like “Lady and the Tramp” (1955), “Sleeping Beauty” (1959), “One Hundred and One Dalmatians” (1961) and “Mary Poppins” (1964). Mary Poppins earned $30 million at the box office, more than any other movie in 1964, and with re-releases would go on to earn the inflation adjusted equivalent of $375 million. As the company grew, so did its stock price. Thanks to those annual gifts and a number of stock splits, by the time Thelma died in 1994 she had amassed an astonishing 193,000 shares of Disney which at the time were worth $9.5 million!
Ever since Alex Rodriguez underwent surgery in January to repair torn cartilage in his left hip, the third baseman has been locked in a tense cold war with New York Yankees senior management over the future of his baseball career. This week, that cold war went nuclear in a very bitter and very public way. The 38 year old Rodriguez, who performed so atrociously last season that he was actually benched in the playoffs, is still technically owed $114 million on his contract regardless of injury or performance. For the most part, baseball contracts are 100% guaranteed, but that guarantee goes away in the case of drug related suspensions. And it just so happens that A-Rod is one of 20 players who Major League Baseball is imminently looking to suspend as part of an ongoing performance enhancing drug scandal. These circumstances have set up a race in which A-Rod is desperately trying to use a unique contract loophole to retire before the suspension comes down and collect his full $114 million. Meanwhile, The Yankees are desperately trying to keep him on the injured list so he can’t retire before the suspension takes place and voids his contract.
Thanks to a loophole in the MLB players association contract, if Rodriguez is cleared to play for even one game before the suspension, he can suit up and technically retire as soon as the game is over. If that happens, when the suspensions come down, A-Rod won’t be affected because he technically won’t be an active player anymore. You can’t suspend someone from something they no longer do. This is exactly why Alex is rushing to get approval from the Yankees doctors to suit up for a game. Even if he rides the bench, as long as he sits in the dugout wearing a uniform for one regular season game, he can immediately retire when the last strike is called. Under current union rules, if A-Rod claims he is physically unable to perform anymore, he can retire and retain 100% of that $114 million contract. In other words, he would be paid an average of $22 million per year for the next five years to sit on a beach. On the other hand, if The Yankees are able to keep A-Rod on the disabled list until the suspensions come down, the entire $114 million contract could be completely voided.
As a car collector, perhaps Ralph Lauren’s could not have thought of something better. Apparently, RUF CTR 3 was the one Ralph Lauren had been looking for. The fashion mogul and vintage car collector, Ralph Lauren was seen recently taking delivery of RUF CTR 3, as per industry analysts who follow him.
Car paparazzi too spotted Ralph Lauren checking out Ralph Lauren’s taking a ride in this elegant beauty that costs around $680,000 for a basic model though the costs can rise up to $700,000 if some customized specifications are done. However, the spokesperson for Ralph Lauren declined to offer any comments on if Ralph had indeed bought an RUF CTR 3.
RUF CTR3 is dubbed as luxury car known for its better performance and is immensely popular among super rich car collectors. RUF automobiles based in Germany have been modifying Porches for over 50 years now and are adding six cylinder engines while bulking up the frames.
The body has been made from carbon fiber and the supercar has been powered by a 777 horsepower engine. As per company sources who have been associated in designing of this car, the RUF CTR3 can go faster than the imagination of any driver.
RUF has been able to sell around three CTR3 in United States of America so far and the exclusiveness of the RUF CTR3 can be gauged from the fact that the company has sold only 25 CTR3 since the model was launched in 2007.
RUF as a manufacturer has other models in the pipeline and production too but has limited its production to 30 -35 cars in any given year. Perhaps, it is this exclusiveness of the CTR3 that attracted Ralph Lauren.
Nothing better can describe the CTR3 than the words of Estonia Ruf of RUF automobiles. Ruf claims that the performance of the CTR3 is truly appreciated by its customers and they take it to be a true racing car.
This car brings to focus the elegance of the past racing cars and the technology of the future cars, perhaps making it unique in the true sense and thus making the same a desirable possession, every rich and neo rich wishes to buy.
This mid engine sports car has been built by Ruf Automobiles based in Germany and draws its inspiration from the Porsche Cayman. Another interesting aspect about the RUF CTR3 is that it was brought about 20 years after the Ruf CTR was released. The body panels and engine draw inspiration from Porsche, as has been the tradition with Ruf Automobiles products.
Made special by fashion icons as Ralph Lauren, the RUF CTR3 has been drawing interests from car enthusiasts from across the globe. For now Ralph Lauren is relishing the feel of owning this magnificent piece of technology and is making news, all over.
We’ve heard of golf clubs being priced rather heavily with unique material, but never did anyone think that hockey sticks could be worth millions! The funny part about the world’s most expensive hockey stick is that it isn’t encrusted with precious diamonds and gems and neither do they have the pricey napa leather grips- as they are just sheer pieces of wood that are very old.
A Canadian man in 2009 created headlines when he purchased a hockey stick from an antique shop in Quebec which cost him $3,000. After carbon dating the stick, it was found that it dated back to the 16th century. He instantly decided to put his antique hockey stick up for auction on eBay and sell if at a minimum bidding rate of $1 million, however, the bubble was popped when historians doubted about the actual origin of the stick as they were of the opinion that they were carved recently from old chunks of birch wood and was not used for playing hockey in the Nova Scotian region in the 1600s.
Whatever may be the case, the world’s most expensive and perhaps the oldest hockey stick does not date back that long, but has been crafted relatively recently in the 1850s in Ontario. This means that the world’s oldest hockey stick was crafted a few decades before the very first ice hockey game was played. This heirloom item was then passes from one generation to another until it finally arrived in the hands of Gordon Sharpe. Upon getting an appraisal of the stick, Sharpe came face-to-face with a pleasant bit of news: he found out that the stick was now worth US $4.25 million.
Since then the hockey stick was been safely kept at the Hockey Hall of Fame and has also been displayed at Wayne Gretzky’s bar. Sharpe has also tried to auction the stick on three separate accounts, citing reasons such as the price of the insurance and the extra safety precaution that were taken to safeguard the stick- which was a source of concern for him. Recently, the stick had gone through auctioning during the 2010 Winter Olympics, however, there is no information of any deal.
Hockey sticks have undergone a lot of transformation and so has the game. The first most obvious change in the hockey stick is blade which has undergone the most changes as it has now become more curvier so that the players could deliver powerful and accurate shots. Another change in the hockey still has also been the weight of it and the durability.
A lot of hockey sticks are crafted in innovative ways. The very first wooden hockey stick was made out of aluminum. However, soon after that there have been other wild variations on the humble stick, by giving it titanium, Kevlar, and fiberglass.
© Copyright 2011 Silly Millions