His heart was galloping as he uncovered what that hidden dumpster concealed in its interior. When asked about what he felt while seeing it, he recounts the scene as “gut-wrenching and very upsetting.”
At that moment, he couldn’t imagine the impact his discovery would have on his life. He still didn’t know that there was no turning back from there. What he found inside the dumpster would change his life forever.
Jared Whipple’s life had been a fairly smooth ride up until that point. Born and raised in Connecticut, he had found his passion very early in life, which already makes him luckier than many other people who can’t say the same.
From a young age, the thing that interested him the most was cars. Since he was a teen, he knew he wanted to be a mechanic. Back then, he didn’t know that his life would take a 180-degree turn at some point.
After graduating high school, Jared started pursuing his dream of becoming a mechanic. He kept messing around with cars and worked at different automobile shops around his area.
After a few years, he finally accomplished his dream: he opened his own auto firm in the same neighborhood where he grew up. But after a few years, his destiny took a drastic turn.
Jared realized he wanted to explore other areas of life. It wasn’t that he was not happy in his current position; still, he felt like he had been devoting all his years since he was a teen to the same thing, and felt like he could use a little change.
After all, he would always have time to go back to fixing cars, as that was his true calling and his biggest skill. So he started looking for different things to do until he came up with something.
One day, while he was reading the newspaper, Jared saw an advertisement for a part-time maintenance job at St. Anne’s, an ancient church near his area.
From the first minute, Jared knew it was the right type of job for him. Since it was just part-time, he could approach it as a hobby, and it wouldn’t be too stressful. But there was something else.
The job was mainly about looking after the church’s two big spires, with a height of about 170 feet and made of granite and red brick. However, this wasn’t an easy task.
The church had been in a very poor state for a long time, and nothing had been done about it. “The red brick began crumbling, and I reported about it for years. I saw it with my own eyes,” said Jared. But this tells us something capital about his personality.
Whether it’s cars or churches, one thing Jared enjoys is fixing things. He has always loved to see the parts composing a structure, analyze the story that these parts tell, and do his best to keep the structure functioning.
Little did he know that this passion of his was about to lead him to a life-changing event that he would never be able to forget.
It all started when he received a phone call from a friend of his: it was a man named George Martin, who had been hired to clean up an old barn in Waterhouse.
Apparently, he had found some interesting stuff thrown inside a dumpster. Knowing how Jared enjoyed collecting antique things, he decided to tell him about it. That same day, Jared drove over to where his friend was working to see what that was about.
When he finally got there, George was waiting for him. He guided him to the dumpsters in question, and Jared could finally see the items his friend had told him about.
There were numerous paintings piled up in the dumpsters! “It was gut-wrenching and very upsetting for us to see what looked like a lifetime of somebody’s artwork being thrown into dumpsters and heading for the landfill,” Jared said. But then he looked closer and realized something.
Most of the paintings, which seemed like they had been crafted by the same artist, portrayed cars and their parts! It was almost like someone had left that there on purpose for Jared to find it.
But why would they even do that? What were their intentions? At first, everything felt rather uncanny to Jared. But he and George decided to remove the plastic bands that covered the paintings and try to get to the bottom of the issue.
“Once we opened them in a better light, I started seeing some that really grabbed my attention and made me step back to take a better look. It was something that fine art had never done to me before.”
“Neither George nor I had ever seen anything remotely similar in style. We started to really appreciate what was surrounding us. It was in that moment we wanted to know just who this artist was and his story.” And after inspecting them for a while, Jared found one name on the back of one of the paintings.
The signature said “Francis Matton Hines”. Quickly, Jared turned to his phone and looked up that name on the Internet. As it turned out, Hines was a well-known artist in the New York City scene.
Right then, Jared made it his purpose to take care of the paintings until he could get a hold of the author. For the next few weeks, most of his time was spent carefully transporting the works of art away from the bar where they were found. However, there was a problem.
He didn’t have enough time to keep taking care of the church and do what he felt needed to be done with the paintings. So he showed his findings to his boss and told him that he would have to quit temporarily. He just had a gut feeling that his destiny was tied to those paintings.
Fortunately, his manager was thrilled about Jared’s story. He didn’t have a problem letting him quit to pursue his new venture and encouraged Jared to keep him updated. After a while, Jared discovered what had become of the author.
It took him months of research, but he finally found out the truth: Francis Matton Hines had passed away years ago. Jared managed to get a hold of his family, and they gave him permission to sell the artworks or keep them to himself.
After all, they weren’t lacking anything; Hines had been a really important name in the New York art scene and had several wealthy clients during his lifetime. So now, Jared was the rightful owner of the paintings. But what would he do with them?
Each painting had an estimated value of about $12,000 at least! Given the considerable amount of them, Jared could become a millionaire overnight if he sold them. However, the mechanic isn’t so sure about that. He would be happy sticking to his job at St. Anne’s church. “This is going to take years to clean and restore and sell these pieces. Maybe I can sell one or two pieces a year and make a salary from the collection,” Jared explained. “Maybe I have a career change, I’m not sure, but I don’t ever plan on leaving St. Anne’s Church again. It’s too important to me and there is so much work to do,” he has said.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead are entirely coincidental.