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The example of Garbage Mary

There once was a lady named Garbage Mary.

She was dubbed that name by the media when she was picked up by police in a shopping mall in Delray Beach, Florida. She was a filthy mess. So were her car and her two bedroom apartment. Neighbors told of her scrounging through garbage cans in search of food, which she took back to her apartment. Police found the garbage everywhere; in the refrigerator, in the stove, in the cabinets-even in the bathtub.

But, they found other things as well. They found Mobil Oil Stock worth more than $400,000. They found documents indicating she owned oil fields in Kansas, stock certificates from prominent firms, and passbooks from eight large bank accounts. Police also discovered that Garbage Mary was the daughter of a well-to-do lawyer and bank director from Illonois, who had died several years earlier.

Garbage Mary was a millionaire, but she lived like a pauper. Great wealth was at her fingertips, but she spent her life sifting through garbage and trash.

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