Imagine living in a house for a decade, not knowing that it has been hiding heirlooms from previous owners. Then, one day it all comes to light leaving you at a loss for words.
This is what happened to the Kapsidis family, while they were renovating their Florida home. The couple had bought the house back in 2009 and they had lived with their little daughter there for years. Then at some point, they decided to renovate the kitchen and, as part of the project, part of the fake ceiling had to be removed. Bobby Kapsidis undertook the task. While he was cutting through the ceiling, he felt something like a pillow. Surprised, he started removing the foam.
And then it hit him. Literally. A leather purse hit him in the face. It was one that was stamped with the words: “GENUINE ALLIGATOR. MADE IN CUBA.” But that wasn’t the only thing they found inside the fake ceiling. The most impressive object was a photo album.
Not an ordinary photo album, but a wedding album dating back to 1963. On the cover, someone had written “Our children’s wedding”. Bobby and Megan opened it to find a collection of vintage wedding photos, along with an original invitation to the wedding and the reception.
According to the invitation, the happy couple were Marguerite Lau and Joseph Gargiulo, whose wedding ceremony took place on September 14, 1963, at St. Thomas Apostle Church on 87th Street and 88th Avenue in Woodhaven, N.Y., followed by a reception at the Brooklyn Navy yard.
Along with the invitation, the Kapsidis found in there photos of the blonde bride getting ready, the newlyweds leaving the church with their bridesmaids and groomsmen beside them, and more material from that special day. They were touched by their finding and felt sorry for the couple that had lost their wedding album.
“This is all that they had of their wedding day,” Megan said, “and it’s very important that I find them and return it to them.”
However, the Kapsidis soon found out that things hadn’t turned out well for the couple. In fact, they got a divorce shortly after the wedding. Joseph eventually died from Parkinson’s disease, while Marguerite was staying at an assisted living facility in Florida.
However, the Inside Edition were able to track down one of Gargiulo’s relatives, who at the sight of the photo album got really emotional.
“It was shocking, it really was,” he said, “to see my family, you know, back in the day- in the 60s.”
Maybe this story didn’t have a happy ending, not the fairytale-like reunion of the couple with their wedding album, but it is still touching one. Apparently the house was once owned by Lau’s parents, who wanted to keep these memories alive even through a photo album. The Kapsidis have concluded that the fake ceiling was probably part of a crawl space where the previous owners used to keep their personal treasures. Who knows what else it could be hiding?
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