A woman's $34 Goodwill bargain buy ends up being a priceless ancient Roman artifact
Photo by Daniel Robert on Unsplash
human male statue

Ah, the Goodwill. Thrifting has become even more part of American culture since Macklemore’s mega hit “Thrift Shop” was released 10 years ago. You can find just about anything you want, from formal dresses to large furniture items and antiques. Walking out of a thrift store with goodies haphazardly thrown into crinkled recycled plastic bags makes you feel like you’ve just struck the jackpot, but for one woman, a jackpot is exactly what she struck. In 2018, art collector, Laura Young of Austin, Texas, was doing her usual thrift store run to look for hidden gems when she stumbled across a sculpture. The sculpture caught her eye, especially since she looks for undervalued or rare art pieces while thrifting. The sculpture was a steal at $34.99, so taking it home was a no-brainer.


She strapped the bust into her car seat with the seat belt. Safety first, even for old heavy sculptures of heads. After getting a closer look at the dirty sculpture, she realized that the bust looked quite old and this piqued her interest enough to start searching for where it could’ve come from. After rescuing the bust, Young consulted with experts in art history at the University of Texas at Austin and experts at auction houses around the country over the next couple of years.


To Laura’s delight and surprise she finally found an answer. Jörg Deterling, a consultant for Sotheby’s a fine arts brokerage, identified the bust as one that was in a German museum decades ago before putting her in touch with the German authorities. As luck would have it, the art collector had unwittingly bought a sculpture from the late first century B.C. to early first century A.D. You really can’t make this stuff up. The bust likely depicts a son of Pompey the Great. Yes, that Pompey, the one that was defeated by Julius Caesar. At least that’s what the museum believes, on the other hand The Art Newspaper reported that the bust is believed to be Roman commander Drusus Germanicus.

Either way, the bust is old and existed in a time where someone had to pose for a ridiculously long amount of time while someone else chipped away at rock to memorialize their face. The ancient bust once belonged to King Ludwig I of Bavaria who lived from 1786-1868. It was part of a full scale model he built of the house of Pompeii, called the Pompejanum, in Aschaffenburg, Germany, where it stood for nearly 200 years. The full-scale model was severely damaged in WWII by Allied bombers.

No one’s quite sure how the bust made its way from Rome to Germany and then shoved under the table at an Austin, Texas Goodwill, but it sure makes for an incredible story. Whether the bust is the son of Pompey or if it’s commander Drusus, it’s back in a place where it can be honored and cared for—a museum. The Bavarian Administration of State-Owned Palaces agreed to the bust staying at the San Antonio Museum of Art until May 21, 2023, before it makes its way back to Germany.

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

A simple solution for all ages, really.

School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

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Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani wows audiences with his amazing musical talents.

Mozart was known for his musical talent at a young age, playing the harpsichord at age 4 and writing original compositions at age 5. So perhaps it's fitting that a video of 5-year-old piano prodigy Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani playing Mozart has gone viral as people marvel at his musical abilities.

Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.

Of course, that gift has been helped along by two professional musician parents. But no amount of teaching can create an ability like this.

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