Priscilla Bailey spotted the blue-and-silver heart-shaped bauble among the used goods at a Savers store in Plymouth, Massachusetts. She thought the trinket would look pretty displayed alongside her own collection of similar pieces. But after Bailey brought the glass ornament home, her daughter opened it up and made a shocking discovery inside.
This was far from what Bailey had been expecting when she purchased the item for $2.99, of course. Though the Massachusetts native did briefly consider the bauble’s contents before buying it. “I thought about it for a minute when I first picked it up,” Bailey told CBS Boston. “I thought it was pretty, so maybe it was meant to come here.”
After Bailey arrived home, though, the trinket caught the eye of her daughter, Kat Bartlett. This was probably no surprise, as Bartlett has a keen interest in ornamental glass. In fact, she even sells repurposed glassware online through a professional website.
Yes, Bartlett’s online store, Stay Glassy, sells art made from glassware picked up at antique markets and thrift shops. Bartlett also offers customers the chance to book their very own glass garden party. These private workshops show people how to design glass art with friends in their gardens.
The business has a good following on social media and has garnered great reviews from many happy customers. So when Bartlett’s mom showed her what she’d bought at Savers, the younger woman immediately found the second-hand decoration to be of great interest.
When Bartlett examined the item, however, she spotted a very odd aspect of the bauble. She then advised her mom to hold the glass piece against the light to see what was inside. And when the pair inspected the heart up close, they were left stunned at what they saw.
At first, they glimpsed the dazzling blue-silver color, with a metal lid secured tight to the top of the heart and a metal tassel hanging from the lowest point. As the light reflected through the glass, though, the heart revealed a feature that the two women hadn’t bargained for.
In fact, the mother and daughter were shocked that something so precious – carrying a price tag of just $2.99 – had found its way onto the shelves of a thrift store. Yet they were determined to solve the mystery and return the clearly significant piece to its rightful owner.
Bartlett subsequently turned to social media in a bid to help their quest and posted a plea on Facebook in January 2018. She also told her friends and followers that she was desperate for the message to go viral. Next to six photos of the glass heart, she wrote, “My mom bought this at Savers in Plymouth about two weeks ago. At first, we thought it was very unique until we got it home…”
Then, expressing her sadness about the situation, Bartlett continued to encourage her Facebook buddies to help find the previous owner of the ornament. “We want to return it to the rightful owner,” she posted. “It breaks my heart that this was tossed away and just sitting on a shelf at Savers for $2.”
Fortunately, her story quickly caught people’s attention and, as a result, was shared over 3,000 times on social media. Bartlett told CNN, “I went throughout town here in Plymouth – through the ‘Plymouth Connection’ and ‘All Things Plymouth’ – and it’s spreading like crazy. So hopefully we find its owner.”
So what was inside the glass heart? Well, Bailey realized that the item probably contained the remains of a beloved relative or family pet. Speaking to The Boston Globe, Bartlett said, “My mom tried to give [the glass heart] to me and said, ‘Look what I found, I got it at Savers.’ I said to her, ‘It looks like its ashes, Mom.’ And she had put a flashlight up to it – and it’s ashes.”
But while her mom had been stunned to discover that her pretty new trinket contained ashes, she nonetheless continued to display it in her kitchen. Bailey told CNN, “First, I got spooked for a second but then, it’s been in the house for all this time. [At least] a couple of weeks now.”
Bailey soon recovered from the shock, though, and decided to hang the mysterious urn above her sink. Bailey admitted that she was even prone to gazing at the object while washing the dishes. “Sometimes I stare at it,” she told CBS.
Bailey also vowed to keep the trinket safe until it was claimed. “It’ll be fun seeing what happens,” she said. “And hopefully someone comes forward and says… that was my grandmother’s or my grandfather’s. Until then, it’s back above the sink. There it sits, my spooky little friend.”
The determined duo also returned to the Savers store in their quest to find the previous owner of the ornament. And while staff there offered to dispose of the urn in a respectful way, Bartlett declined the offer. She was committed to reuniting the glass heart with whoever might be missing it.
“It must have a story, so that’s my goal, is to find out that we’ve figured out where this and who it belongs to,” she told CBS. So, although confused about how the urn ended up in the used items section of a thrift store, Bartlett remained hopeful of a happy ending. “It was probably a mistake,” she said to The Boston Globe.
“I just know I don’t want one of my family members, whether it’s an animal or not, in Savers for $2,” she added. A spokesperson for the popular thrift shop chain also told WBZ that the items donated to its stores usually come from the local area. This suggested that the real owner may live close by.
But as the story spread through the media, it sparked mixed reactions from the general public. One The Boston Globe reader suggested that the situation was “over-hyped,” while another advised Bailey and Bartlett to “cast the ashes into a beautiful breeze.” For now, then, the mystery remains unsolved.
Thankfully, though, not all thrift store finds are quite as morbid. Every Wednesday before Church, Julie Anne Lisi and her husband went for a browse around their local Goodwill store. However, during one shopping trip Julie Anne was left weak when she found something very special on the shelf.
Julie Anne Lisi and her husband Mike made visits to their local Goodwill Super Store in Jupiter, Florida, every Wednesday. Yet one particular trip to the store in August 2018 would leave Julie Anne weak with shock. Why? Well, she would discover something rather familiar on the racks…
Starting from 1989, Julie Anne and Mike have spent six months per year at their home in Tequesta in Palm Beach County, Florida. The rest of the time, though, they live in Ohio – in excess of 1,000 miles from their property in the Sunshine State.
Long before this, however, the Lisis were permanently based in Ohio. And on one day, in 1978, the couple were watching their 12-year-old son, Christopher, play baseball in Willoughby. It was Christopher’s final game of the season, and the plucky pre-teen chalked up a pair of home runs.
“At the end of the game, they presented trophies and had a big hullabaloo,” Julie Anne would recall to The Palm Beach Post in September 2018. In the midst of all that excitement, though, Christopher lost his glove; his mother later suspected that he may have put it down while still at the ballpark.
So, the next morning, Christopher cycled back to the baseball field to search for the glove – but, sadly, it was to no avail. Even now, 40 years later, a grown-up Christopher can recall his heartbreak. He told The Palm Beach Post, “I remember being really upset.”
And in August 2018, the one-time home-run hitter was working as a teacher; he also served as the coach to children’s basketball, bowling and football teams in Ohio. Meanwhile, over a thousand miles away in Florida, his parents were partaking in their usual Wednesday ritual: shopping at Goodwill prior to making their way to church.
In fact, the couple had developed some habits in their tackling of the store. Mike would make his way to housewares in search of coffee cups from Starbucks, for example. By contrast, Julie Anne would browse the shop’s toy selection. There, she would pick out items suitable to pass on during mission trips.
However, on August 29, 2018, that routine was shattered, as Julie Anne’s toy search resulted in an altogether different find. Casting an eye up and down the racks and visually sifting through the sports gear on display, she eventually focused on something on the bottom shelf.
And that particular item caused somewhat of a visceral reaction in Julie Anne. “My knees got wobbly, and I got weak and scared,” she recalled to WPTV in August 2018. Meanwhile, her husband told The Palm Beach Post that when he had come to find his wife, “she had a terrible look on her face.”
But as Julie Anne showed her husband what she had, he quickly understood why she had reacted in that manner. Somehow, their son Christopher’s baseball mitt – lost all those decades ago, over 1,000 miles away – had ended up on this store’s shelf.
There was no doubt that the glove belonged to their son, either. “I just walked in, and there sitting on the edge of a shelf… was this mitt. [It was] sitting so that I could see the name ‘Christopher Lisi’ on it,” Julie Anne would recall of the moment to WPTV.
And not only did Julie Anne recognize her son’s handwriting on the outside of the mitt, but she also found some of her own penmanship on the inside. With that, she texted a photo of her find to Christopher, who immediately urged his mother to purchase it.
Meanwhile, Sue Rounds was working the shift in the Goodwill store that day, and she couldn’t help but notice Julie Anne’s shock. When Rounds enquired as to what was wrong, however, Julie Anne excitedly replied by saying, “The glove!”
What’s more, Rounds told The Palm Beach Post that she had never witnessed anything similar to the Lisis’ experience in her seven years of employment with Goodwill. The cashier added that she was “thrilled to death that [the find] happened.”
Then, naturally, the Lisis bought their son’s glove – for the bargain price of $1.49. Yet once the excitement of the day had worn off, one question lingered: just how did the mitt make its way from Ohio to Florida, 40 years after it had gone missing?
Well, Julie Anne told WPTV that she had indeed brought some of her family’s unwanted items to Goodwill in the past. Yet she could only recall giving old books to the charity store – and only in Ohio locations, close to the Lisi family home.
And Rounds couldn’t reveal how the glove had come to the Jupiter, Florida, branch, either. “There’s so much that comes in so many bags, boxes [and] totes. There’s no way of tracking it, either,” she explained to The Palm Beach Post.
A representative for Goodwill later confirmed to WPTV that the company doesn’t record its donations or where they end up. The employee did, however, mention that Goodwill does shift items from one location to another if they linger on the shelves for too long.
So while there’s still some mystery surrounding the glove’s journey, Julie Anne hopes one day to uncover how the mitt had ended up so far from where Christopher had initially lost it. And, regardless, the mom recognizes how special her find was. “To me, it’s a miracle,” she revealed to WPTV.
As for the glove’s original owner? Well, Christopher has speculated that the mitt could be passed on to future generations of the family as an heirloom. In the meantime, though, he may just break the glove back in by throwing balls with his wife in the backyard.