them and let them know water dealing with. lou: burgess owens great to have you here. that up it for us tonight. joining us tomorrow. >> amid the terror of hitler's bombs... >> the airpower of the nazis was turned against britain. >> ...an unmistakable voice rallies the brits. >> i have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. >> you think churchill saw his lisp as beneficial? >> what hitlerism is suffering in libya is only a sample and a foretaste of what we have got to give him and his accomplices. >> it was such an inspiring speech that it just worked magic on people. >> his dental tech worked magic, too. >> churchill said to my father, "you're not going anywhere. you're staying here with me." >> how did he earn a place in history? >> when you opened the box, what did you see? >> well, i saw some teeth staring at me.
>> fighting tooth and nail, dentistry's finest hour. >> these are the teeth that won the second world war. >> any way to get a closer look? >> for you, yes. >> hello. i'm jamie colby. and, today, i'm in the back seat of one of those fabulous london taxis. after crossing the pond, i figured i'll leave the driving to somebody else. i'm here to meet an heir whose father played a big part in world history through his connection to great britain's indispensable leader in world war ii, the one-and-only winston churchill. and i have to warn you folks, they don't call this show "strange inheritance" for nothing. >> my name is nigel cudlipp.
my father, derek, was a master dental technician here in london for over 50 years. he died in 2007 and left his most important work to me. >> hello. i'm jamie. >> nice to meet you, jamie. i'm nigel. welcome to london and welcome to limehouse. >> thank you. it's a beautiful spot. is this where you live? >> we do. we live on a yacht out there. please come this way. >> thank you. nigel's career is in finance, originally for posh resorts and hotels and now for a museum here in london. but i didn't climb aboard nigel's yacht to talk about that. when i was told that i was coming to london to see teeth, i thought it was crazy. do you think it's crazy? >> it might look that way to many people, but churchill was a very, very important man. >> the most important man on the planet, arguably, when, in the spring of 1940, as hitler's forces overrun europe, winston churchill becomes prime minister. and his words become his country's most powerful weapon. >> never in the field of human
conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. >> and never in the field of human dentistry, nigel cudlipp believes, was so much owed by so many to one technician, his father. derek cudlipp is born in 1915 and raised in a modest home in south london. >> i don't think he got on terribly well at school, because he was a quiet, very, very shy man. >> his schoolmasters steer derek to apprentice as a technician making dentures. darn good career advice in the pre-fluoride days, when most britons lose at least some of their adult teeth and end up needing dentures. derek cudlipp discovers he really likes the exacting work, and he's a whiz at it. >> the nature of his personality was somebody who was a perfectionist, and i think, in dentistry, he found an outlet
for that part of his personality. >> in 1936, derek is snapped up by a prominent dentist, in london's fashionable cavendish square, named wilfred fish. >> fish was at the top of the profession, dentistry to royalty and to many, many important people of the day. >> you think your dad aspired to have famous clients? >> no. definitely not. i think his pleasure came from the quality of the work that he produced. my father was a frustrated artist, to be honest with you, but he was absolutely passionate about what he did. >> one of dr. fish's dental patients is winston churchill. a backbencher in parliament, churchill issues dire warnings about the growing threat of adolf hitler and nazi germany. >> [ shouting in german ] [ crowd cheering ] >> now they are rearming with the utmost speed, and ready to their hands is this new lamentable weapon of the air.
>> from the air, hitler's luftwaffe rains down terror on london in the fall of 1940. with the blitz as a backdrop, derek marries his bride, dorothy. >> they went on a honeymoon, they said, on a train with the bombs falling all around them. >> for 76 consecutive days, london is bombed day and night. in the middle of it all, derek cudlipp gets the assignment of a lifetime. >> churchill said to my father, "you're not going anywhere. you're staying here with me." >> that's next. >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question. the answer when we return.
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and difficulty breathing or swallowing. do not take jardiance if you are on dialysis or have severe kidney problems. other side effects are sudden kidney problems, genital yeast infections, increased bad cholesterol, and urinary tract infections, which may be serious. taking jardiance with a sulfonylurea or insulin may cause low blood sugar. tell your doctor about all the medicines you take and if you have any medical conditions. so now that you know all that, what do you think? that it's time to think about jardiance. ask your doctor about jardiance. and get to the heart of what matters. >> it's "c." he called it "the black dog." churchill also had periods of manic high energy. some believe he was a manic-depressive. [ bombs whistling ] >> in 1940, as londoners struggle under a nazi onslaught from the sky, one familiar voice bolsters their resolve, that of prime minister
winston churchill. >> you ask, what is our policy? i will say it is to wage war by sea, land, and air with all our might and with all the strength that god can give us. >> people were losing their sons, their fathers, and somehow, he managed to rally the country. >> we ask no favors of the enemy. >> he will become perhaps the most effective order ever to speak into a microphone. >> we will mete out, of the germans, the measure and more than the measure they have meted out to us. >> but churchill was not a natural-born public speaker. from childhood, he struggles with a lisp. >> he made every effort to master it. >> but phil reed, director of the churchill war room museum, says by the time he reaches 10 downing street, the prime minister has more than mastered his lisp. he's embracing it. >> what hitlerism is suffering in libya is only a sample and a foretaste of what we have got to
give him and his accomplices wherever this war should lead us. >> do you think churchill saw his lisp as beneficial or a hindrance to his power? >> i think, in the war, he saw it as being something that characterized him and added a bit of humor to it. remember, this is a man who feigned not to be able to pronounce the word nazis. always referred to them as "nazzies." and it was his way of making fools of them. >> wounds have been inflicted upon the nazi tyranny and the system, which have bitten deep and will fester and inflame. >> how important were his words? >> they were immensely important, because churchill had to tell it like it was, which is, "it's gonna be tough. a lot of people are gonna be killed. but you got to stick with it." and that really did genuinely inspire people with a bit of backbone, basically. >> i have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. >> he was such an inspiring
speaker. the manner in which he delivered, it just worked magic on people. >> churchill is a virtuoso performer. like the pegs, bridge, and strings of a fine stradivarius, the components of his instrument -- his voice, breath, tongue, and teeth -- have to be just so. >> he roused people to the flag, if you like, with his voice and the way he delivered his lines. >> unfortunately, reports nigel cudlipp, the heir in this "strange inheritance" story, churchill treats his dentures not the way maestros treat their violins, but how british rock stars treat their guitars. >> churchill, when he was angry, would put his thumb under the teeth and flick them across the room. and my father always said that he could tell how well the war was going by how far they flew across the room. things were really bad when they hit the opposite wall. nigel's dad, derek, a mild-mannered 26-year-old dental
tech, is churchill's denture repairman. >> my father would be quite anxious about the whole thing. churchill was not a man who was to be messed with. he was quite an impatient man. in the dentist's chair, he would have a cigar in one hand, a brandy in the other. >> and an odd demand well-suited to derek's skills -- make sure those false teeth keep churchill sounding like churchill. >> he is now but a lackey and a serf, the merest utensil of his master's will. [ cheers and applause ] >> do you know, technically, what your father did for winston churchill that was different than normal? >> my father invented, with sir wilfred fish, this distinctive plate that would retain his lisp and his natural speaking voice. >> nigel tells me that i can see what he's talking about at london's royal college of surgeons. hi, sam. i'm jamie colby. >> hi, jamie.
>> sam alberti is the director. i guess when you donate yourself to science, you might end up in a place like this. sam brings me right to the winston churchill display. >> wilfred fish, the dentist, designed the teeth, but, of course, it was the technician who made them. and churchill was devoted to derek cudlipp. the star item is this little item here. >> "made for and worn by sir winston churchill." >> that's right. >> any way to get a closer look? >> for you, i'll take them out. >> you would? >> yes. he wanted to maintain churchill's very particular oratorial style. >> a lisp. >> precisely. in order to do this, he added clasps to the side. and these would just keep the dentures slightly proud of the palate and allow a flow of saliva around them. and this maintained that very famous lisp. >> you think any dental technician could have made those? >> no. these are extremely rare and very, very difficult to make. >> churchill makes clear he
knows that when derek cudlipp breaks some personal news to the prime minister. >> he told churchill that his papers had come through to go into the army, and churchill literally just tore them to shreds in front of my father's face and said to my father, "you're not going anywhere. you're staying here with me." >> because of his dentures. >> because of his dentures, yes. >> you ask, what is our aim? i can answer in one word -- victory. >> this is churchill's office in which he delivered four of his speeches during the war. >> the secret bunker under the streets of westminster is now a museum. >> victory at all costs. victory in spite of all terror. victory however long and hard the road may be. >> the last of the bombing raids happen, and they left everything that you see. and so, for instance, this here is churchill's original chair, and you are going to sit in it. >> oh, my god. you can feel the unimaginable pressure on churchill.
>> churchill was obviously pretty tense. if you just feel that notch at the end there -- that he made with the ring that he wore on that hand, and he belted it like that. [ bells tolling ] >> but his voice never cracks. >> this is your victory. >> may 8, 1945, "v-e day." >> victory of the cause of freedom in every land. [ crowd cheering ] >> when derek's wartime post with churchill ends, he keeps two spare sets of the prime minister's dentures. he goes on to open his own prosthetics service. >> he was probably recognized to be the best in the country. all his clients came to him, word of mouth. >> word of mouth? >> yeah, very much so. >> [ laughs ] >> yes, very much so. >> decades later, nigel's father
donates one of his sets of churchill's dentures to the royal college of surgeons. >> it was something he was very proud of, but, of course, it was a quiet donation, which suited him. >> but nigel thinks his dad deserves a more prominent place in the history books. so when derek dies, in 2007, and nigel inherits the remaining set of churchill's dentures, he stows them in his cufflinks drawer. >> they're not something that you have on the mantelpiece. and i kept thinking to myself, "i must do something about these. they're just sitting there." >> was it about the money? >> it was more about recognition for my father. he was too shy during his life to mention them. >> coming up, nigel's plan to get his dad that recognition. how much interest were you able to generate in these? >> you know, the term is "gone viral," and it did. >> that's next. >> here's another quiz question for you. which american revolutionary war figure was also a practicing
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>> so, which american revolutionary war figure was also a practicing dentist? it's paul revere, who started out by apprenticing with a dentist who made dentures for none other than george washington. >> when british dental technician derek cudlipp dies in 2007, he passes down to his son, nigel, his finest piece of work, a set of false teeth he made during world war ii for prime minister winston churchill. nigel puts the dentures in a drawer but never forgets them.
he wants to figure out how to use them to honor his dad. >> i wanted to tell the people about my father, because he was too shy during his life to mention them. >> since his dad already donated one set to a british museum, nigel dreams up another plan. he figures he'll find someone to auction them off. he says he doesn't need the money. he just wants to get his father in the newspapers. >> i could never have sold them while he was alive, 'cause he wouldn't have liked the publicity. >> hello, andrew. i'm jamie. >> oh, hello. so very pleased to meet you. >> nigel thinks he's found the man to finally get him some -- appraiser andrew bullock of keys auctions in norfolk, england. i have a place over here. andrew's sold a lot of odd churchill items -- unsmoked cigars, playing cards, cigar boxes -- but never imagines he'd receive a commission like the one from nigel. when you opened the box, what did you see? >> well, i saw some teeth
staring at me. >> andrew immediately knows he can get nigel exactly what he wants. how much interest were you able to generate in these? >> you know, the term is "gone viral," and it did. >> so it's global. >> it was worldwide, and it got to be sort of quite a joke that the next phone call was gonna be for andrew from timbuktu or somewhere. a lot of people actually found the whole episode a little bit macabre, where others were absolutely fascinated. when something of interest arrives for auction, it may not necessarily be of great value, but there's very often a wonderful story behind it. >> it's a wild story. >> it is. churchill had a lisp, and these partial dentures were specially designed to maintain that lisp. so it was, you know, of paramount importance. >> word got out. >> yep. i came across it in the himalayan times newspaper.
and i thought, "probably now, we've done enough p.r." >> coming up, the bidding begins. >> and it just went rapidly, rapidly, rapidly up. >> who buys dentures? >> well, a very, very good question. >> and one we'll answer next. what's your "strange inheritance" story? we'd love to tell it. send me an e-mail or go to our website, strangeinheritance.com. liberty mutual stood with me when this guy got a flat tire in the middle of the night. hold on dad... liberty did what? yeah, liberty mutual 24-hour roadside assistance helped him to fix his flat so he could get home safely. my dad says our insurance doesn't have that. don't worry - i know what a lug wrench is, dad. is this a lug wrench? maybe? you can leave worry behind when liberty stands with you™. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance.
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our recent online sales success seems a little... strange?nk na. ever since we switched to fedex ground business has been great. they're affordable and fast... maybe "too affordable and fast." what if... "people" aren't buying these books online, but "they" are buying them to protect their secrets?!?! hi bill. if that is your real name. it's william actually. hmph! affordable, fast fedex ground.
we have a question about your brokerage fees. fees? what did you have in mind? i don't know. $4.95 per trade? uhhh and i was wondering if your brokerage offers some sort of guarantee? guarantee? where we can get our fees and commissions back if we're not happy. so can you offer me what schwab is offering? what's with all the questions? ask your broker if they're offering $4.95 online equity trades and a satisfaction guarantee. if you don't like their answer, ask again at schwab. >> now back to strange inheritance." >> if the british empire and its commonwealth last for 1,000 years, men will still say this was their finest hour. >> prime minister winston churchill's voice helped save europe. dental technician derek cudlipp helped save that voice. and when he leaves his son, nigel, the teeth that won world war ii, well, that's one
strange inheritance. no surprise that, after nigel puts churchill's chompers up for auction, the story goes viral. in fact, that's the point. how do you think your father would have felt about so many people knowing about the dentures? >> i mean, he would have been secretly proud, but because he was so shy, he needed someone to speak for him, so i'm pleased to have done that. >> as history called derek cudlipp to fashion false teeth that preserved churchill's lisp, nigel calls andrew bullock to sell them. did you think they were immediately something that you would take to auction? >> oh, yes, yes. one felt sort of quite honored to be handling something to do with a great man. >> after andrew examines the dentures, he estimates their value at around £5,000, or $8,000. they were solid gold. >> yes. i did joke that i thought they would actually fetch more than the scrap price
for gold. >> what did the bidding start at? >> i started it at £3,800. >> that's about $5,800. but it didn't stay there long. >> and it just went rapidly, rapidly, rapidly up, until the hammer fell at £15,200. >> or about 24,000 bucks. the buyer? george ridgeon, a retired english fireman willing to pay three times what andrew expected. were you smiling? >> we smiled. [ both laugh ] >> more smiles may come in this toothy tale, courtesy of nigel's 18-year-old daughter, lauren. >> i was going through a few pieces, and this was one of the books that i came across. >> in june of 2015, she discovers yet another set of gold dentures in a box of jewelry which she inherited from nigel's mother. um, ick.
so, there's another mystery. >> they wouldn't have just been left there, and i would like to think that they belonged to somebody that's quite important, but... >> if they do, nigel and his daughter say expect to hear from them again -- a "strange inheritance" story for another day. six months after nigel's auction, a third set of churchill's dentures surfaced and sold for $25,000. so, the fireman who bought the teeth that won world war ii tried to resell nigel's inheritance on a british tv game show. but when the highest offer came in at only about $7,800, the fireman said, "no deal." i'd tell him, "don't give up." as churchill once famously said, "success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." i'm jamie colby. thanks so much for watching
this special edition of "strange inheritance." and remember, you can't take it with you. >> dad had a talent. >> there's nobody out there who does what he did. he was just that good. >> but it's lost on his son. >> when you're 16 or 17 years old, the last thing you're worried about is your dad up in a building, building models. >> this strange inheritance ultimately brings them together. >> when his father was alive, he did not want larry to touch them, and i can only imagine what he's thinking now. >> how would you describe this inheritance? >> a little bit more of a journey than i was prepared for. >> so, is it time to take a new tack? >> i know you've said, larry, that you'd never seriously considered selling, but now that you hear this... ♪
[ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ] [ bird caws ] i'm jamie colby, and today i'm driving into the oldest settlement in louisiana. it's called natchitoches. it's rich in southern charm and civil war history. battles raged nearby, both along and on the red river. well, that history inspired one man's remarkable craftsmanship. but it left his son wondering what the heck to do with all the crafts. >> my name is larry atteridge. in 2008, my father passed away and left behind his life's work -- a massive fleet of amazingly detailed model ships he built from scratch. >> hi, larry. i'm jamie. >> well, hi, jamie. nice to meet you. >> great to meet you. thanks for inviting me deep into louisiana. it sure is pretty. >> well, i've got a lot to show
you. come this way. >> larry invites me in to see some of his father's civil war ships. this is one cool viewer submission. which one is that? >> this is the eastport, which was on the red river here in natchitoches parish. it was one of the largest ironclads of the civil war. it was 280 foot long, and it weighed 770 tons. >> with the civil war, i first think of great armies clashing at gettysburg, shiloh, and antietam, not naval battles. but that's the story these miniature vessels tell. when war between the states breaks out in 1861, union general winfield scott creates the anaconda plan. the idea -- blockade southern ports, take control of the mississippi, and, like a huge snake, squeeze the south into submission. the union builds a navy of more than 600 ships.
>> they would commandeer boats from people -- ferry boats, paddle-wheelers, anything that floated and they could put a gun on it. >> larry's father, william, made models of many of them. there's the c.s.s. gaines, a wooden side-wheel confederate gunboat built in mobile, alabama. there's the u.s.s. vicksburg and the c.s.s. alabama -- a massive propeller-driven ship built in secrecy in england for the confederacy. all are made precisely to scale. 1 inch here translates to 8 feet on the real vessel. where did this all begin? did dad buy a book on ship building? >> i don't remember anybody ever teaching him how to do this. it's just something you have to be born with. >> william atteridge jr. is born in 1929 in highland park, illinois, a suburb of chicago.
from an early age, he's fascinated by the ships he sees on lake michigan and dreams of one day setting sail. in 1951, during the korean war, william joins the navy and travels the pacific on the u.s.s. valley forge. the 22-year-old specializes in cosmetic maintenance, doing the detail work. >> the "45" that you see on the u.s.s. valley forge, he was one of the guys that painted the numbers on the aircraft carrier he was on. >> william is honorably discharged in 1955, returns home, gets married, and starts a family. larry's the youngest of three kids. the family settles in central louisiana, where william's artistic skills lead him to a job. >> he started out as a draftsman for the mobile-home industry. he just had an incredible talent for artistry.
>> did you inherit the artistry gene? >> no. >> when he's not buried behind a stack of blueprints, william loves to travel the country. >> he took us to national parks all over the united states. but it seemed like we always ended up at a naval air base or some military museum. >> then, in the mid-1970s, a trip to vicksburg, mississippi, sparks william's creative passion. more than 100 years earlier, the u.s.s. cairo was the first vessel ever to be sunk using a mine remotely detonated by hand. william's there to watch it go on display after being raised from the yazoo river. >> he started getting involved with the museum people over there, and next thing i knew, he was building ships. >> the 46-year-old father of three starts with his own
miniature version of the massive cairo -- piece by piece, out of pine and cypress. the smokestacks... the deck boards... cannons... even miniature ropes. it takes two months. >> you know, he would make the little doors and the little lifeboats. and then he would paint them and he would drive little nails into the deck. >> it's amazing. >> he just went haywire with it, really. >> over the next decade, william builds a civil war flotilla. there's the c.s.s. virginia, the first steam-powered ironclad warship, built by the confederate navy. the u.s.s. neosho, a union vessel with a steam-powered front-gun turret that can spin 360 degrees. that's some firepower. and the c.s.s. calhoun, a civilian steamer converted into a 500-ton side-wheel gunboat.
all with the precision you'd expect from a career draftsman. >> before he built a ship, he'd study it. he had blueprints from the smithsonian institution, and if they didn't exist, he would draw his own set of blueprints. >> down to the finest detail. >> he was a fanatic about it. >> was your mom applauding his efforts? >> not really. i recall her not being all that thrilled with dad spending a lot of time in the shop. >> but he wouldn't stop. >> oh, no. it became an obsession. >> by the time william retires in the early 1980s, he's churned out more than 500 ships. that's when the hobbyist decides to share his fleet with the world. he built an annex on his property, next to the family home in arcadia, louisiana -- his very own civil war naval museum. let's be honest -- most people would build, maybe, an addition to their house.
your dad told your mom, "i'm gonna build a museum for the ships." >> you know, for lack of better terms, i think he didn't really listen to much about what my mother had to say. >> william doesn't even let his son touch his delicate crafts. not that larry's interested. >> as a young man, i didn't pay as much attention to what he was doing. when you're 16 or 17 years old, the last thing you're worried about is your dad up in a building, building models. >> but outside the family, word is spreading about a reclusive shipwright in the woods of louisiana. they call from around the country and around the world. civil war buffs and private collectors not only want to see his work, they want to buy it. was this profit-making for him? that's next. >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question. the c.s.s. virginia was a confederate ironclad warship also known by what name?
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that's moving companies forward fast. e-commerce. real time inventory. virtual changing rooms. that's why retailers rely on comcast business to deliver consistent network speed across multiple locations. every corporate office, warehouse and store near or far covered. leaving every competitor, threat and challenge outmaneuvered. comcast business outmaneuver. intelligent technology can help protect it. the 2018 audi q5 is here. >> so, by what name was the c.s.s. virginia also known? the answer is "b" -- the merrimack. it was a union ship salvaged by the south and rechristened as the virginia. in 1862, it faced off against the monitor in the first duel
between ironclad ships. >> by the 1990s, william atteridge has built an armada of nearly 1,000 model ships. visitors from around the world travel to his makeshift museum in the louisiana woods to see his amazing craft. did he charge people to come in? >> his museum was donations only. they would drop a couple dollars in a bucket and he'd let them go through there and he would talk them to death. and, finally, it was almost like, "okay, we got to go." [ chuckles ] >> one of his early patrons -- louisiana state university historian gary joiner. do you remember the first time walking in? >> absolutely. the first thing i saw was this giant model of the c.s.s. arkansas. and i said, "you know what you're doing." >> was he a teacher? >> he was to me. he was a historical sponge. >> gary commissions william to
build ships to use as visual aids in his classes -- 17 in all. what'd you pay? >> i think i paid $175 at the time. >> was it a steal? >> oh, yes. without a doubt. he was just that good. later, even museums commissioned ships from william. was this profit-making for him? >> he didn't make enough. my dad was a very kind soul, and he did a lot of things out of the goodness of his heart. >> what would it cost for a ship? >> back in those days, he might get $300 or $400. and he would spend two months building it. >> year after year, he churns out models. then, in 2005, william is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given six months to live. larry has long since moved out. he now owns a successful ambulance company two hours away. but he starts making the trip
back and forth every week. it's the most treasured time he ever spends with his father. >> during that period of time is when he taught me the most about these ships and about him. the realization came forward that we didn't really know each other. >> do you wish you had spent more time with him? >> absolutely. we loved each other, but we just didn't have that closeness. >> william atteridge outlives his prognosis by three years. he dies in 2008 at age 78. were you with him when he passed? >> yes. it was just me and him. i just told him i loved him and, you know, kissed him on the forehead, which is probably the first time i ever remember kissing my father. >> and with that, larry comes into his strange inheritance -- more than 100 ships, the blueprints he built them from, as well as the records of another 1,000-plus models he's sold through the years --
an archive of the hobby his father elevated to an art form. have you had this collection appraised since you inherited it? >> i did when he first passed away. and i think it was around $130,000. >> would you sell? >> not for $130,000. the emotional attachment, to me, is worth a great deal more than that. >> but things can change. and, as you will see, they do for larry -- more than once. how would you describe this inheritance? >> it was a little bit more of a journey than i was prepared for. >> that's next. >> here's another quiz question for you. extra credit if you can name the war during which it was deployed. ♪ can i kick it?
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>> the answer is "a" -- the turtle. its inventor tried and failed to attach a time bomb to the hull of a british ship in new york harbor during the revolutionary war. >> it's 2008, and larry atteridge has just been left his strange inheritance -- more than 100 scale-model civil war ships built by his father, stacks of blueprints, and a request. do you remember your last conversation? >> what he asked me to do was to take the collection, to show them in his honor, and keep them together. >> so you're guarding the fleet? >> yes. [ chuckles ]
>> with his father's ship collection more than two hours away from his home, larry decides to move them to a closer port. a bed-and-breakfast in nearby natchitoches agrees to put them on display. these are so delicate. how do you even go about moving that many ships? >> i rented a 26-foot u-haul truck. we got furniture tarps and put them on the floor. >> larry's wife, pam, lends a hand -- with some hesitation. >> when his father was alive, he did not want larry to touch them, and i can only imagine what he's thinking now. >> the ships go on exhibit in natchitoches, with larry serving as the curator. but just a year later, with his ambulance business growing, larry decides he no longer has time to manage them. >> all of a sudden, i realize that i have to move these again. >> he reaches out to the state of louisiana, and they're on board.
for a second time, larry carefully packs up his sprawling and delicate fleet. this time, he ships it to a state museum in tioga, louisiana. five years pass. then, larry receives an alarming phone call. the museum's unstable -- literally. how unstable? >> it was about to cave in. then it became kind of a panic situation for us. >> for a third time, larry scrambles to relocate his strange inheritance. he decides just to bring it home, where the boats will be absolutely safe -- he thinks. then, early one morning... >> my stepdaughter came into the room and said, "hey, the house is on fire." >> the whole house, within five minutes, was in flames. >> in the 40 minutes it takes the fire department to reach their rural location, the atteridge house burns to the ground.
>> we lost everything. >> so, you escaped with your family, but the ships? >> they were still in the museum. >> thankfully, there'd been a delay in delivering custom-built cabinets to the house, and the models stayed put. wow. someone was protecting them. >> it was just by the grace of god, i think. >> unfortunately, most of his father's sale records for ships that he had sold were in the house and are lost in the fire. have you ever had a moment where you've said, "i do need to sell them"? >> yes. it's crossed my mind. >> we know one potential buyer -- our michael wall, founder of the american marine model gallery in gloucester, massachusetts. when larry called us, we called michael. >> i've never seen a collection like this, especially of civil war models. >> so, what's involved in appraising a collection like this? >> well, for example, i chose this model of arkansas because
it's probably one of the biggest ones in the collection. i love it because of the artistry that is done with the finish. i feel something like this would probably be worth between $5,500 and $6,500. >> wow. [ cash register dings ] >> the appraiser says william atteridge's model of the u.s.s. cairo would also go for about $6k. and larry has about 100 more. michael, what do you sense could happen if larry were willing to part with the collection? >> basically, i broke down the collection in three parts -- the high-end, the mid-range models, and then the low-range. the total was $279,000. >> okay. [ chuckles ] >> quite a collection. >> so, i know you've said, larry, that you'd never seriously considered selling, but now that you hear this...
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>> now back to "strange inheritance." >> larry atteridge is weighing his options after receiving an appraisal of $279,000 for more than 100 civil war model ships that his late father painstakingly built over a lifetime. so, larry, how does that compare to the appraisal you got years ago? >> well, it's a big surprise. it's much higher than it was. >> well, your dad did great work, and i think it's just a testament to what he put into this. >> in fact, when you consider that larry's father sold at least 10 times as many models as he kept, there may well be $2- to $3 million of william atteridge originals floating around the world.
pretty impressive for just an old guy with a hobby. so, larry, i know you've never seriously considered selling, but now that you've heard this, do you change your mind? >> [ inhales deeply ] well, got a lot to think about. um... i believe i'll hold on to them, keep them in the family and... >> great. >> ...in the bloodline. >> it's a lot of money. you couldn't use the money? >> obviously, we could use it, but we're not in that situation, so... >> yeah. >> ...we'll just hold on to them and keep them in dad's honor. >> and, finally, in a permanent home. ♪ >> well, here they are. >> very, very impressive. ♪ yep. those display cases finally arrived. so, inside their new house, larry and pam have created a mini-maritime museum --
a contemporary version of the one william had out in the woods all those years ago. minus, of course, the workshop, the donation bucket, and the model-ship builder -- ready, as his son recalls, to talk his visitors to death. do you see your father in these? >> absolutely. you know, i wake up every day, and there they are. and i think it's my long-lasting relationship with my father. you know, if it wasn't for that, i don't know that i'd have anything. >> in that house fire, larry lost records from about 1,000 of his dad's models. well, he's hoping you can help him locate those missing ships. if you look closely at bill atteridge's work, you can sometimes find a sticker with his name, like this one here. and if you see one, e-mail me a picture at email@example.com.
thanks so much for watching. and remember -- you can't take it with you. morning. >> todd: have a great day, everybody. >> president trump: the iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the united states has ever entered. we cannot and will not make this certification. we will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror, and the very real threat of iran's nuclear breakout. >> dagen: president trump saying not so fast on the iran nuclear deal. he's kicking it to congress telling them to toughen it up or he will tear it up. several world leaders are concerned by the move but gary b. smith says it's the rht