Nearly three decades after his brother designed a high school football team jacket for himself, only to be unable to afford it, a man came upon the item in a thrift store.
While playing varsity football at Scottsdale, Arizona’s Chaparral High School 28 years ago, Jed Mottley decided he wanted to wear his pride for the team on his sleeve. So he designed a custom jacket for himself.
“I went down to the store that year and picked everything out,” Mottley told CNN. “You had to kind of design the jacket yourself … but I never saw the final product.”
When the jacket was ready for pick up, Mottley’s mother informed him they didn’t have the cash to afford it.
“We definitely had it rough,” Mottley said, but despite their financial problems his mom “always made it OK . . . she was so loving.”
Not getting the jacket was a great disappointment nearly 30 years ago. But as fate would have it, Mottley’s older brother Josh walked into a thrift shop in Pinetop — where he lives, some 180 miles from their high school — on Nov. 3, and there it was hanging on the rack. While the jacket had cost $300 when Jed picked it out, Josh was able to buy it for just $25.
The brothers think finding the jacket, after all these years, may be a sign from their mother, who died in 2012.
“My mom was one of the most religious people I knew, and she always said, ‘I’m going to give you guys a sign from the other side,’ ” Jed said.
While Jed now lives in Los Angeles, he flew back to Arizona to get the jacket from Josh — thus reuniting the brothers, who hadn’t seen each other in years. Now, he wears the jacket every chance he gets, including during some of his band’s performances.
“As a musician, I just love making people happy and it seems in this past week or two, it’s just been nothing but happiness,” Jed said. “People are crying tears of joy . . . They’re just so happy for me. It’s made me shed some tears.”