Bobby Kapsidis was in the process of renovating his mother’s house in Holiday, Florida, when he made a rare and exciting discovery. Indeed, as he was taking apart a soffit with a crowbar, an unusual object tumbled out of the ceiling and hit him right in the face.
Bobby, 34, an aircraft mechanic from Sierra Vista, Arizona, had bought the house with his wife Megan, 31, in 2009, and on June 1, 2017, they arrived in Holiday to begin repairs on it. “Finally in Florida and working on our house!” Megan wrote on Facebook. “Some before and during pictures just to show that we haven’t burnt the palace down yet.”
The pair’s renovation plans included repainting the walls and removing an obtrusive soffit that jutted across the kitchen ceiling. But all work came to a halt with the surprise discovery. What’s more, after Megan published photos of it on Facebook, national news outlets were knocking on their door.
Bobby had begun the job by cutting into the soffit with an electric saw. Then, he took a crowbar to it and started levering it out of place. The panels cracked away easily. So far, so good, then. However, Bobby had now created a situation that demanded immediate attention.
By tearing a hole in the kitchen ceiling, Bobby had exposed part of the attic above. Somewhat puzzlingly, moreover, there appeared to be a number of objects buried beneath the insulation. In fact, he was alerted to the cache when something fell out and hit him.
“Bobby really wanted to tear down the soffit at 8 o’clock at night, and I couldn’t stop him,” Megan wrote in a Facebook post in June 2017. “Then, this 1940-50s genuine alligator purse from Cuba fell out of the ceiling… so not a bad night after all!”
Unfortunately, the alligator purse was not the kind of accessory you’d want to show off; in fact, it was quite hideous. Complete with head, tail and legs, the skin of a single baby alligator had been stitched into its back and cover. This was definitely a novelty item, not a fashion accessory.
Meanwhile, after locating a stamp stating that the purse was genuine alligator skin and made in Cuba, Bobby checked it for further clues. There was nothing to suggest that it contained anything of interest, however, much less something of value. Instead, Bobby found his real prize hidden in the hole.
“Stuff just keeps falling from our ceiling!” Megan subsequently wrote in a Facebook post. “Now it’s someone’s wedding album!” A wedding album isn’t, of course, the first thing that you might expect to find stashed in an attic. Moreover, flicking through the pages, Bobby and Megan were wowed.
“I reached in the insulation and I pulled out this wedding book,” Bobby told ABC News. “It’s old and kind of dusty, and I said, ‘This is pretty incredible’ – just seeing something nostalgic like that. I have no idea why they’d keep it up in the attic.”
The ceremony appeared to have taken place in the 1960s. It was a classic white wedding complete with traditional attire and bridesmaids. Who the album belonged to and why they had left it in the house were, however, a mystery. Indeed, were the pictured couple even alive or together anymore?
“My first reaction was, ‘Wow, what a beautiful wedding,’” Megan told ABC News. “I sat looking through it and thought, ‘We need to find these people.’” But without anything to identify the couple except wedding photos taken decades ago, there seemed to be little hope of finding them.
Nonetheless, understanding the huge sentimental value of the album, Megan was determined to try. “[Bobby and I] got married five years ago, and all our photos are digital,” she said. “In 1963 they didn’t have digital photos. This book is all they had, and I want to get it back to them for that reason.”
Fortunately, Bobby and Megan did find a clue hidden inside the hole: an invitation from a Mr. and Mrs. Gerard Lau to the marriage of their daughter Marguerite. The groom was a Mr. Joseph Gargiulo, and the event was scheduled for Saturday, September 14, 1963, at 3:00 p.m.
The venue, meanwhile, was St. Thomas Apostle Roman Catholic Church on 87th Street and 88th Avenue in Woodhaven, Queens, New York. And the reception was billed for later in the evening at the Senior Petty Officers Mess at Brooklyn’s New York Naval Shipyard. “Cocktail Hour at 6 pm,” read a note at the bottom.
Bobby and Megan now had a real chance of locating the couple if they were still around. And when Megan put out a shout on Facebook, she received thousands of replies from commenters, interested parties and amateur genealogists. Plus, before long the media had picked up the story, too.
“Bobby and I were just interviewed by a reporter in New York about the wedding album that fell out of the ceiling in our Florida home!” Megan wrote on Facebook. “The story airs tonight! I hope we find the family and we get to return her memories to her! Fingers crossed!!”
The story was in fact picked up by Fox News and a host of other outlets, and soon enough all the coverage paid off. On June 8 Megan announced that they had located Marguerite and returned the album – and purse – to her. The experience, said Megan, had been a privilege.
“She is the sweetest lady, and both of us were very emotional, reminiscing about her wedding day,” she wrote. “This has been a very humbling experience for both Bobby and I, and we will never forget it. Thank you Marguerite for sharing your memories with us, and we look forward to future visits with you.”
Marguerite, though grateful for the return of the album, has requested that her privacy is respected. Meanwhile, Bobby and Megan’s renovation work continues. Who knows how their new home will shape up, but the discovery of a long-lost wedding album in the attic surely bodes well for their future together.
Imagine how incredible Marguerite must have felt holding that album in her hands again. Especially considering it’s an item of such sentimental value. And after all the time that had passed, she must have lost all hope that she’d ever see it again. It’s hard enough to believe you’ll ever see again something that you misplaced only moments ago!
Even losing one’s wallet can be stressful (and downright annoying), especially when the search for the missing goods proves to be fruitless. So when Taylor Sloan left her purse behind at a bike racing gathering, she didn’t have high hopes of seeing it again. But what she received a few days later in the mail restored her faith in humanity far more than any returned cash ever could.
Sloan first noticed that she was missing her wallet after she left a motocross racing event in Oakland, California, one night in January 2016. “I had one of those wallets that doubles as a mini-purse,” explained the 22-year-old to Today. “It probably should have been inside something, but I didn’t want to carry much, so I just had it in my back pocket.”
The small pink purse contained Sloan’s driver’s license, debit card and some cash. The wallet’s precarious position in her back pocket must have been what had caused it to slip out so easily. “I… probably just lost it when I sat down in my seat,” recounted Sloan to ABC 7 News in 2016. “I didn’t see it was lost until the event was over.”
Once Sloan realized her belongings were missing, though, she prepared to make one of those dreaded visits to the DMV in order to get a new driver’s license. Unbeknownst to Sloan, however, there was a stranger out there who wanted to spare her some hassle.
Yes, Sloan – who is from Sonoma County in northern California – received a telephone call from her mother a few days after the racing event. It seemed that an unexpected package had arrived to the family home with Sloan’s name on it. “I didn’t recognize the return address,” said Sloan. “I told her to go ahead and open it.”
The mystery package contained Sloan’s lost wallet, completely intact. It so happened that someone had discovered the purse at the biking event and, being a Good Samaritan, decided to return it, cash included. But finding out that honest people still exist was not the most surprising part of the purse’s return.
Rather, the most incredible part about the unexpected package was the letter that accompanied it. “Dear Ms. Sloan,” began the handwritten note. “I found your wallet on the ground at the Supercross event in Oakland. I know how it feels to lose something, and I wanted to make sure you got your wallet back.”
While Sloan was already amazed to discover that someone had not only returned her belongings, but also attached a sweet note, she was even more astonished to learn the identity of the person responsible. “My name is Nasim Lawrence, and I am 10 years old,” read the letter.
Nasim had apparently discovered Sloan’s wallet the night of the sporting event while he’d been looking for something to eat. According to Nasim’s father, AJ Lawrence, the boy had been very concerned about finding the wallet’s owner. And, even at his young age, Nasim understood the hassle that Sloan would face if she didn’t have her license.
AJ recounted Nasim’s reaction in an interview with ABC 7 News in 2016: “He said, ‘Well, Dad, do you think we’re going to get it to her before she has to go to the DMV?’” The young boy had been quite distracted during the racing event as he scanned the crowd for the girl who matched the photo on the driver’s license. “He didn’t want her to stand in the DMV line,” explained AJ.
Young Nasim had subsequently made it his mission to return the lost wallet. The very next day, in fact, he’d enlisted the help of his mother to mail the purse to the address listed on Sloan’s driver’s license. But the ten-year-old had completed one important step himself: writing the letter. “I wanted to make her happy and make her feel better about her losing something,” said Nasim.
And Sloan was absolutely delighted by Nasim’s act of kindness. “The fact that he took the time to write it, and it was so cute…” she told Today. Sloan also shared what tickled her the most about Nasim’s letter. “My favorite line was, ‘I’m glad I got it instead of some bad person,’”? she said.
Nasim’s letter went on to read, “You look like a very nice person who does nice things for people, so I wanted to do something nice for you.” He also wrote, “Hopefully, I have made you smile.” In fact, Sloan was so thrilled by the unexpected package that she thanked Nasim’s honesty with far more than just a smile.
Yes, Sloan mailed Nasim a thank you letter and a reward – $20 and a bag of candy – in return for his good deed. “I hope he writes back,” she told Today. “I’d love for us to be pen pals!” She was so touched that she also quickly relayed the experience on social media. However, surely neither Sloan nor Nasim could have anticipated what happened next.
You see, Sloan’s social media post detailing Nasim’s good deed was seen by her friend Dano Wano, a DJ for the local country music station Froggy 92.9. Wano then asked Sloan if he could share the touching tale on the station’s Facebook page, and she agreed. From there, the story of Nasim’s honesty spread like wildfire.
The Facebook post on the radio station’s page was shared hundreds of times, in fact, and started to attract the attention of even bigger news outlets. Nasim only became aware of his new superhero status, however, when his school principal informed him about it. The boy’s mother, Karimah Lawrence, was very surprised to hear that the school leader had approached Nasim in the school hallway and said, “You’re famous!”
The principal’s comment prompted Karimah to find the viral post herself, and she connected with Sloan over Facebook. “She sent me a friend request, and we wrote back and forth in the comments,” said Sloan. “I knew [Nasim] must have come from a cool family to have done something so kind.”
Nasim was then formally recognized in an Antioch city council meeting, but thanks to Sloan’s commendation, his newfound fame did not end there. The youngster’s story was also picked up by several different news outlets. And, in fact, Nasim’s story spread so far that it hit the radar of Ellen DeGeneres.
So Sloan, Nasim and his parents were all invited on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to talk about Nasim’s actions. When Ellen asked Nasim about finding the wallet, he gave a concise telling of the events of that night. And when Sloan mentioned that she had $30 or $40 in cash in her purse, Nasim clarified, “38 dollars!”
At the end of the segment, Ellen asked Nasim what he was planning to do with his reward money. When he responded that he was going to save it to buy a video game, Ellen revealed a big surprise: a new TV, gaming consoles and $1,000 worth of video games. “It feels kind of odd because I’ve never got this fame before,” said Nasim. But we’re sure this kind ten-year-old probably won’t let it get to his head. After all, he simply maintained that returning the wallet was “the honest thing to do.”