The influx of storage auction attendees in the past couple of years is a reflection of the current status of the American Dream. We all want to get rich- and quick! While many storage units are auctioned off daily, only a few hold objects of true monetary value… and even fewer act as tombs for the invaluable. Such a storage unit was auctioned off recently in Connecticut, inside the unit were documents that were pivotal to American history. Malcolm “Shorty” Jarvis, a musician who was a close confidant of Malcolm X, followed his friend’s career closely and scrap booked his achievements, leaving these treasures to collect dust in a storage unit after his passing. Just over one-thousand documents were purchased by a collector of African American historical artifacts, who then sold the assorted papers and scrap books to the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation in Omaha in co-operation with the Black History 101 Mobile Museum in Detroit.
“Once (the buyer) found out that it was of a significant historical nature, he decided then he didn’t want to break the collection up. He wanted to make sure it went to the right home,” said Khalid el-Hakim the man who created the Black History 101 Museum, and whom still curates the museum today. The contents of the storage unit passed hands repeatedly before finally settling in the belonging of the two museums, and will offer a unique glimpse into the life of not only Malcolm X but also Malcolm Jarvis, a close friend of X’s. While the documents contain evidence of Malcolm X and Malcolm Jarvis’s involvement in a 1945 home theft, there is also a scrapbook documenting Malcolm X’s life; a testament to the reverence and respect these friends felt for one another. Such a compendium of information regarding one of the Civil Rights Movements most prominent leaders is an invaluable contribution to museums such as the Black History 101 Mobile Museum as well as the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation. Keep attending auctions in your area and follow your instincts if you have a hunch about a particular unit, you never know what relic is lying buried within.
We’ve covered stories here at INeedStorage about uncanny and unique uses for storage units, whether they be past or present. Throughout our time covering news stories about Self-Storage and the plethora of facilities that dot the American landscape, we’ve repeatedly mused about the possibility of individuals or whole families living in a storage unit. While this seems wholly impossible- (where would you go to the bathroom?) one woman named Jodi Jill is claiming that she spent over ten years of her life calling a single 10×20 storage unit home. Not only did Ms. Jill grow up in this storage locker in Loveland, CO, she allegedly shared it with three siblings and her two parents. While Ms. Jill contends that her tale of her storage unit-cum-home is one-hundred percent factual, several skeptics question how a family could live undetected for over a decade in the cramped, dark, dankness of a storage unit. Jill maintains that the facility managers and security knew of her family’s residence in the storage facility, but failed to report it or take action against the family. While one may be reminded of Flowers in the Attic by Jill’s fair hair and complexion combined with the fact that she almost grew up in secret, it is relieving to see Jill living a life of normalcy all these years later. We wish Jill and her family members the best, and hope that whoever wins the Presidential election spend serious time considering the welfare of families, including their shelter. Source.
Storage units serve so many purposes. Some function as offices in this tough economic climate, others as rec rooms for men who need an escape from their wives & kids, and every now and then the quiet darkness of a storage unit is transformed into a tomb. In this case, a storage unit in Portland, Oregon was used for its namesake purpose: storage. However in this instance the items being stored were $20′s, $50′s and $100 dollar bills amounting to over $1,000,000. The unit was being used as a vault for money procured by one Bobby Thompson, a Navy Veteran and alleged con artist. Authorities claim Thompson procured the million-plus dollars as part of a faux charity operation entitled “U.S. Navy Veterans Association” in Tampa, FL. Not content to merely be a philanderer, Thompson also maintained several stolen identities and their assorted paperwork (including birth certificates). Much evidence of which was located in the same storage unit. Thompson was apprehended in a Boston Bar after a six-month long search by authorities, including the U.S. Marshals Service and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. One of Thompson’s three wallets held a license for one “Alan Lacy”, which quickly led authorities to the storage unit bearing the incriminating evidence as well as the exorbitant amount of cash. The scariest element of the whole story? Bobby Thompson isn’t this criminals real name, and his true identity remains unknown!