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Filed in Kitchen Remodeling by on December 31, 2015 0 Comments • views: 1918

John and Gina got the surprise of a lifetime during a kitchen remdel of their California house. The couple said they moved into their fax and flip project about a year ago and recently started their DIY remodel to save a buck. During the demo they found an safe in their KT floor.

They still don’t know who originally installed the safe–all they know is the home likely home had 6 previous owners. Angie says she “has a hunch” the safe didn’t belong to the previous owners, who probably liked cats and smoking a bit too much.

The following is a full account of the discovery, as written by Gina:

When we first moved in we found a safe code in the back of a medicine cabinet but never found a safe. Still, I saved the little code just in case. The safe looks like it’s about 10-20 years old. After a half dozen attempts it actually worked!

We stared in disbelief. Time stood still. I started to reach in the safe and Eddie yelled, ‘Wait it might be booby trapped!’ I’m still laughing at that one.

It looks to be about $50,000. Mostly old $100 bills. Ok, we totally counted it. $51,080!

There is a bottle of James E Pepper. Wikipedia time!!!! James E. Pepper is credited as the inventor of the “Old Fashioned.”

The seal is still unbroken. Tax stamp reads 1960, aged 6 years. My wiki research suggests this Bourbon is as about as rare as it comes. We like bourbon, a lot.

The book was more of a mystery, still is: “A Guide for the Perplexed” by E.F. Schumacher. Published in 1977.
Page 1 – A photo of a really sexy Gregory Peck looking dude.
I’m not a treasure hunter but pages 1, 7, 11, and 14 contain, what appear to be, a series of clues.

On the back of the photo is a note which reads,



I have a book you must read. I’ve underlined a few key passages.

Your friend,


Page 7 – This isn’t a bookmark. It’s more like an old style flash card with the state of Arizona in it. We live in Phoenix and there’s an ‘X mark’ in pencil over Mesa, AZ. We forgot to take a photo of the front but it’s an outline of the state of Arizona highlighted green amongst the other “Mountain States.”


The underlined passage of the chapter titled, ‘On Philosophical Maps’ reads, “One way of looking at the world as a whole is by means of a map, that is to say, some sort of plan or outline that shows where various things are to be found.”

Page 11 – A photo of a house or old estate beneath the sentence, “There yielded such fruitful results.”

Back of photo reads – “Where one tree becomes three” – I assume he’s referring to the tree here on the left.

There might be a keen eye out there who recognizes this place and I’d be curious about that three-headed tree!

Page 14 – “Most Modern Readers will be reluctant to believe that perfect happiness is attainable by methods of which their modern world knows nothing.”

Then that Bingo card – One can only speculate. Eddie pointed out that our safe had a 3 digit code. Perhaps this is the code to the other safe but maybe he really liked bingo?

We haven’t decided what we’re going to do with the money yet. If Alan is still out there, it was meant for him after all. But we’re keeping the bourbon!



About the Author ()

Frank LaMark is a contributing author in the kitchen and bath industry for the past 15 years.