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mechanic finds canvases in dumpster worth millions

When dumpsters become gold mines.

An odd trinket bought at a thrift shop turns out to be a bona fide antique. A small fortune is found stashed inside a piece of furniture on the side of the road. These are the magical jackpot moments that seem almost too good to be true. And yet, real stories like these keep the hope alive in our hearts.

In September 2017, auto mechanic Jared Whipple received a call from a friend about an abandoned barn house in Watertown, Connecticut, filled with several large canvases, each with bold colorful displays of car parts. Considering Whipple’s line of work, along with his general love for vintage items, the friend thought the artwork would be of interest to him.

By the time Whipple arrived on the site, all the pieces had been disposed of into a dumpster (next stop: landfill) and were covered in debris and mold. Luckily, each was individually wrapped in plastic.

Curious, Whipple began to unwrap a few of the canvases to get a better look.


Not only were they in good condition, but the quality of art was impeccable. Whipple immediately wanted to know more about the creator of these lovely works.

The answers didn’t come easy. In fact, the research ended up taking Whipple four years, but here’s what he found:

The works were created by Francis Mattson Hines. And he wasn’t exactly a no name. According to the Mattatuck Museum, Hines’ big claim to fame was weaving giant pieces of diaphanous fabrics around the Washington Square Arch in geometric patterns back in 1980. And though his story was publicly recognized in books and documentaries, much of Hines’ fame had diminished by the time of his death in 2016. Hence the less-than-fruitful Google search.

“Not only was this artist a ‘someone,’ but he was even more well known in the New York art world than we could ever have imagined,” said Whipple.

CT Insider reported that Whipple has collaborated with art gallery Hollis Taggart to give Hines’ work the proper respect and celebration it deserves, setting up a large exhibit in both Southport, Connecticut, and New York City. Each one will showcase 35 to 40 pieces, all available for sale.

And just how much will a Francis Hines piece go for? CT Insider also spoke with art curator and historian Peter Hastings Falk, who estimated that his drawings could go for $4,500, and wrapped paintings around $22,000. This makes the entire collection, full of hundreds of pieces, worth millions of dollars.

That’s right. What nearly went into a trash heap is now valued at a mega fortune level.

Go ahead. Pick up your jaw from the floor and read that again.

Of course, selling the art isn’t Whipple’s main focus. In addition to keeping some pieces for himself that he fell in love with, Whipple aims to work with major galleries in New York to establish Francis Hines as “a significant artist of the 20th and 21st century.”

The mechanic-turned-art-dealer told CT Insider his new purpose "is to get Hines into the history books.”

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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via Pexels

Three people engaged in conversation at a party.

There are some people who live under the illusion that everything they say is deeply interesting and have no problem wasting your time by rambling on and on without a sign of stopping. They’re the relative, neighbor or co-worker who can’t take a hint that the conversation is over.

Of all these people, the co-worker who can’t stop talking may be the most challenging because you see them every day in a professional setting that requires politeness.

There are many reasons that some people talk excessively. Therapist F. Diane Barth writes in Psychology Today that some people talk excessively because they don’t have the ability to process complex auditory signals, so they ramble on without recognizing the subtle cues others are sending.

It may also be a case of someone who thinks they’re the most interesting person in the conversation.

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